Hong Kong restricts travel

HONG KONG 28 January 2020: Hong Kong authorities banned travel from China’s Hubei province, which includes Wuhan, effective 27 January, until further notice to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

At least eight cases have been reported in Hong Kong and five in Macau according to a report in Xinhua which also confirmed the Lunar New Year holiday due to end this Thursday will now extend to Sunday 2 February. It is not clear if the stock markets in China and Hong Kong will remain closed after Thursday.

The announcement said residents of Hubei province in China, as well as travellers who have transited through the province within the past 14 days, will be banned from entering Hong Kong.

China’s health authorities confirmed 2,744 cases by the end of Monday, with 80 reported deaths. Reports said 461 people remain in a critical condition.

Xinhua said at least 33 cases had been confirmed including seven in Thailand, three in Japan, three in South Korea, three in the United States, two in Vietnam, four in Singapore, three in Malaysia, one in Nepal, three in France, four in Taiwan, and four in Australia.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park both shuttered their entrances, closed to the public at the weekend until further notice according to a CCTV report late on Sunday. The Shanghai Disneyland park has also closed.

Hotels inside Hong Kong Disneyland complex remain open to guests.

Usually, amusement parks would be packed with tourists during the Chinese New Year. On Monday they were deserted with no information on when they would reopen.

The virus originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei late last year and has spread to Chinese cities including Beijing and Shanghai.

The first case in Hong Kong was confirmed last Wednesday with four more cases reported on  Friday, all involving people who had visited Wuhan.

Hong Kong Free Press claimed schools and universities, which are already closed for the Lunar New Year, will not open until 17 February.