Hong Kong became the latest destination to tighten border restrictions on people arriving from eight southern African countries in response to the new Omicron variant, the government announced on Saturday.
Hong Kong residents arriving from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe will have to spend seven days in a government quarantine facility where they will undergo daily Covid-19 testing and be monitored by health professionals.
Upon completion of the seven days, residents will be allowed to finish the rest of their compulsory quarantine at a designated quarantine hotel.
They are also required to undergo regular Covid-19 testing after arrival in Hong Kong.
Non-Hong Kong residents who have visited any of the eight southern African countries within 21 days are no longer allowed to enter Hong Kong as of Saturday. Non-residents traveling from South Africa were already barred entry due to its status as a high-risk country.
"The new rule aims to enhance the surveillance on the Omicron variant of Covid-19," the government said in a press release. "Hong Kong must stay vigilant and implement the most stringent anti-epidemic measures to prevent the mutant strain from entering the local community."