The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, convened a meeting of the Steering Committee cum Command Centre in relation to the Novel Coronavirus today (January 26). As the outbreak is mainly found and the situation is getting more severe in the Hubei Province, and experts have advised that asymptomatic patients would increase the difficulties in disease prevention and control, the Steering Committee cum Command Centre has decided to impose restrictions on all Hubei Province residents and people who visited the Hubei Province in the past 14 days from entering Hong Kong until further notice to reduce the chances of infected persons entering the city.
With effect from 0.00am tomorrow (January 27), except for Hong Kong residents, residents from Hubei Province and persons who visited the Hubei Province in the past 14 days will not be permitted to enter Hong Kong until further notice. To facilitate the implementation of the above-mentioned measure, all the self-service clearance channels (i.e. e-Channels) at control points will only be open to Hong Kong residents. Non-Hong Kong residents have to use normal immigration counters for immigration clearance. The clearance process may take longer time and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government appeals for travellers' understanding for the inconvenience caused.
Mrs Lam announced yesterday (January 25) the activation of Emergency Response Level under the "Preparedness and Response Plan for Novel Infectious Disease of Public Health Significance" and rolled out a package of strategies and measures to tackle the disease. In particular, given the current confirmed cases in Hong Kong are imported ones, the HKSAR Government enhanced the immigration control to contain the spread of the virus. The Steering Committee cum Command Centre is monitoring the development of the disease and listening to advice of experts to study measures that can further reduce the chances of infected people entering Hong Kong.
At the meeting today, the Steering Committee cum Command Centre considered that, for public health and disease containment, restriction should be imposed as soon as possible on residents of Hubei Province and persons who visited Hubei Province in the past 14 days from entering into Hong Kong, before the formulation of other more comprehensive measures.
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