Lawmakers join call for ban on all visitors - RTHK
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Lawmakers join call for ban on all visitors

2020-03-16 HKT 15:09
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  • Lawmakers have joined calls to stop all visitors from countries which are severely affected by the coronavirus. Photo: AP
    Lawmakers have joined calls to stop all visitors from countries which are severely affected by the coronavirus. Photo: AP
Pressure is mounting on the Carrie Lam administration to implement tougher measures to prevent more imported cases of the coronavirus arriving in Hong Kong.

The government has already declared red alerts for majority of European countries, the US and some other countries affected by the virus outbreak and visitors from these places will have to undergo 14-day quarantine from Thursday.

But as more coronavirus cases recorded here being linked to travel outside Hong Kong, calls for a curb on all non-Hong Kong visitors have increased as some experts fear a spike in cases would overwhelm the hospitals here.

Roundtable lawmaker Michael Tien said Hong Kong should ban all tourists from coming in until there are enough electronic wristbands to monitor people placed into self-quarantine.

The pro-Beijing lawmaker said the SAR should stop all visitors, except Hong Kong residents, from countries that're seriously hit by the virus.

"The heavily affected countries, they should be treated like Hubei," he said. "Basically ban entries, except for Hong Kong returning residents."

He said travellers from places with less severe outbreaks should undergo 14-day self-quarantine. But as we don't have gadgets like wristband to monitor them during that period, we have to stop them also now, he said.

Meanwhile Civic Party lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki said authorities should start conducting temperature checks in planes before the passengers are allowed to disembark.

Kwok said that the current measure asking tourists to fill in health declaration forms at the airport was ineffective.

The opposition legislator said some of the latest Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong involved passengers coming from Europe and they're allowed to get off the aircraft even though they've already developed symptoms.