Covid-19: Hong Kong to review flight suspension rule as returning residents scramble for limited seats

Hong Kong is set to review its Covid-19 flight suspension mechanism, Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said. Residents abroad have been left scrambling for air tickets and quarantine hotel rooms following the announcement that bans on flights from nine countries would be lifted next month.

From next Friday, routes from Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, the UK, the USA and Nepal will resume, more than two months after the government halted flights from these countries in early January and February amid the fifth and worst wave of Covid-19 infections.

Hong Kong-bound flights from the nine countries may be in short supply, however, as the city’s flag carrier Cathay Pacific announced on Tuesday that it would only arrange one flight per route every two weeks. The company cited the government’s flight suspension mechanism, which prohibits airlines from flying a particular route for 14 days if a previous flight from the same origin had carried three or more passengers who tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival.

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