'More arrivals expected to be sent to Penny's Bay' - RTHK
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'More arrivals expected to be sent to Penny's Bay'

2021-11-29 HKT 17:18
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  • 'More arrivals expected to be sent to Penny's Bay'
The government has announced stricter quarantine rules on travellers coming from high-risk countries and regions in view of the emergence of a new Covid variant.

It said on Monday that travellers from places where there's been community transmission of the Omicron variant must stay seven days at the quarantine camp in Penny's Bay before spending another 14 days at designated hotels to complete their 21-day quarantine, in addition to eight southern African countries.

These travellers will be tested every day at the quarantine camp.

Currently, travellers from eight African nations including South Africa where the variant was first detected are subject to the new quarantine rule.

The controller of the Centre for Health Protection, Dr Edwin Tsui, said he expects more places would be added to the list, including some European countries.

"We hope we can have a more sustainable system to cater for this kind of enhanced monitoring measures for the Omicron variant. Because of this, we've implemented the seven-plus-14-day measures in these incidents," he said.

"We hope to balance the risk between Penny's Bay and designated quarantine hotels so that we can pick up the majority of the cases in the first seven days of quarantine in Penny's Bay."

Authorities said latest test results showed that a 37-year-old man who flew in from Nigeria last week was infected with the new variant, the third Omicron case detected in Hong Kong so far.

Health Secretary Sophia Chan said all three cases were identified during quarantine, so the new variant had not entered the community.

Asked if the emergence of the variant may affect Hong Kong's plan to resume quarantine-free travel with the mainland, Chan said she saw no problems so far but officials would monitor the situation closely.

"We do not see there're major issues affecting such preparation work right now. Hong Kong would continue to monitor the global situation and put in further stringent measures as it becomes necessary," she said.

The Centre for Health Protection reported three imported Covid-19 cases on Monday. They flew in from India, Canada and Finland.