“I am so disappointed. I thought I would be reunited with my family.”
The tightening of Hong Kong’s entry and quarantine rules amid the global threat of the Omicron coronavirus variant has led to a frenzy among travellers scrambling for hotel rooms to salvage their Christmas holiday plans.
Since the government’s announcement on Monday, at least 16 countries have been added to the city’s high-risk Group A tier, over fears linked to the potentially more transmissible variant. They comprised nations which have reported Omicron cases, such as Canada and Australia, as well as some states in Africa, where the new variant was first detected.
Hong Kong residents arriving from Group A countries face a mandatory 21-day quarantine. Non-residents under this group are barred from entry.
Alex Lum, a Hong Kong student in Australia, heard news on social media of the ramped-up measures in his hometown, and frantically tried to extend his booking at the Silka Seaview Hotel in Yau Ma Tei from 14 days to 21, only be told there were no more vacancies.
“I was freaking out and calling my parents asking them what should I do?” he said. “It is just really upsetting.”
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