Global News

Breaking news & current latest Canadian news headlines; national weather forecasts & predictions, local news videos, money and financial news; sports stats and scores.

https://globalnews.ca/

Hong Kong includes Canada, U.S. in travel ban as Omicron surges

Click to play video: 'As flight delays, cancellations grow, what compensation are Canadian passengers entitled to?'

WATCH: As flight delays, cancellations grow, what compensation are Canadian passengers entitled to?

Hong Kong authorities announced a two-week ban on flights from the United States and seven other countries and held 2,500 passengers on a cruise ship for COVID-19 testing Wednesday as the city attempted to stem an emerging Omicron outbreak.

The two-week ban on passenger flights from Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Great Britain and the United States will take effect Sunday and continue until Jan. 21.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam also announced that restaurant dining will be forbidden after 6 p.m. for two weeks starting Friday. Game arcades, bars and beauty salons must also close during that period.

“We have to contain the pandemic to ensure that there will not be a major outbreak in the community again,” Lam said at a news conference, adding that the city is “on the verge” of another surge.

The measures came as new Omicron clusters have emerged over the past week, many linked to several Cathay Pacific crew members who broke isolation rules and dined at restaurants and bars in the city before testing positive.

Hong Kong has reported 114 Omicron variant cases as of Tuesday, with most being imported. On Tuesday, it reported its first untraceable case in nearly three months, which authorities said was likely caused by the Omicron variant.

Hong Kong officials have moved swiftly to block the spread of the variant, locking down residential buildings where people have tested positive and mass-testing thousands of people.

That includes about 2,500 passengers who were being held Wednesday on a cruise ship in Hong Kong for coronavirus tests, after health authorities said nine passengers were linked to an Omicron cluster and ordered the ship to turn back.

Authorities forced the Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum of the Seas ship, which departed Sunday on a “cruise to nowhere,” to return a day early on Wednesday, according to a government statement.

The ship returned to Hong Kong on Wednesday morning and passengers were held onboard for most of the day while they awaited testing.

One passenger, Claudy Wong, said Royal Caribbean had tried its best to follow pandemic regulations.

“The pandemic has gone on for so long, actually passengers like us who board the cruise are already prepared for such situations to happen,” Wong said.

Royal Caribbean said in a statement that the nine guests were immediately isolated and all tested negative, and that the company was working closely with authorities to comply with epidemic prevention policies and regulations.

It said guests who were on the affected ship would receive a 25 per cent refund on their cruise fare. The ship’s next sailing on Thursday was also cancelled because the crew must undergo testing, and those guests will receive a full refund.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Related news
House Jan. 6 Committee Subpoenas Giuliani, Other Trump Aides

House Jan. 6 Committee Subpoenas Giuliani, Other Trump Aides

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol issued subpoenas Tuesday to Rudy Giuliani,  Jenna Ellis, Sidney Powell and Boris Epshteyn and accused them of promoting lies about the 2020 election.  » Subscribe to NBC News:...

Biden administration offers free at-home COVID tests amid Omicron wave.

Biden administration offers free at-home COVID tests amid Omicron wave.

Some Americans were able to order free at-home COVID-19 tests Tuesday, one day before the government's official website was set to roll out. The Omicron-driven surge continued to rage in parts of the country, while some early hot spots are seeing ...

'The Five' bash Democrats' obsession with race

'The Five' bash Democrats' obsession with race

'The Five' reacts to Democrats using MLK day to push their voting agenda. #FoxNews #TheFive Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service delivering...

U.S. airlines express concerns over 5G service rollout near airports

U.S. airlines express concerns over 5G service rollout near airports

Two major wireless companies are moving ahead with their plans to launch 5G cell phone networks on Wednesday. But they will delay the rollout near some U.S. airports. Airlines warn the technology could impact a plane's landing instruments and lead...

Senate Democrats press ahead with voting rights legislation despite GOP opposition.

Senate Democrats press ahead with voting rights legislation despite GOP opposition.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has opened a floor debate on a measure that Democrats say would protect the rights of voters and the integrity of federal elections. Republicans are likely to filibuster the legislation, in which case Democrats...

Hallie Jackson NOW - Jan. 18 - NBC News NOW

Hallie Jackson NOW - Jan. 18 - NBC News NOW

Major cellphone carriers Verizon and AT&T give in to mounting pressure from the airline industry, the White House rolled out the website to access free Covid-19 tests one day early as cases begin to plateau in the Northeast, and technology called ...