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2020

20/03/2020
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today said it is helping Hong Kong residents stranded in Morocco to return home after the country temporarily suspended air traffic. As a measure against COVID-19, Moroccan authorities announced a temporary suspension of air traffic on March 15, leaving some Hong Kong residents stranded in the country. Since then, the Security Bureau and Immigration Department have been in contact with various parties to understand the situation and take follow-up action. They include the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in Hong Kong, the Chinese Embassy in the Kingdom of Morocco, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in China, as well as the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong and relevant travel agencies. So far, the Immigration Department has received assistance requests from 147 Hong Kong residents concerning home passage, through its 1868 hotline, and referrals from the Chinese embassy in Morocco and Legislative Council members. Among them, 70 are from group tours and more than 70 are individual travellers. The department immediately rendered proper advice and assistance in accordance with their and their families’ wishes. With co-ordination between the Hong Kong SAR Government and commercial airlines, 72 Hong Kong residents have already booked their flights home. ​To assist the affected residents to return home, the SAR Government has been taking action on multiple fronts.     ​Through its Beijing office and the Moroccan embassy in China, the SAR Government sought information from Moroccan authorities about commercial flights operating there. Additionally, the Civil Aviation Department has been actively liaising with airlines still operating at the airport of Casablanca to secure flights for Hong Kong residents to catch out of the country to destinations where they can transit back home.     ​The SAR Government will continue to closely monitor COVID-19-related measures implemented by Moroccan authorities and their impact on Hong Kong residents there. The Security Bureau and the Immigration Department will stay in close contact with relevant parties as well as affected Hong Kong residents and their families. Hong Kong residents travelling outside the city who need assistance may call the 24-hour hotline (852) 1868 of the Immigration Department’s Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit.
20/03/2020
The Inter-departmental Counter Terrorism Unit conducted an anti-terrorism exercise at the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line Control Point today. It simulated an operation against extremists who plotted a bomb attack using improvised explosive devices. The first session of the exercise was staged at the public transport interchange of the control point. During this scenario, a man detonated a radio-controlled bomb in a rubbish bin, resulting in multiple casualties. The area was then cordoned off for rescue and investigation by Police and the Fire Services Department. In the second session, customs and immigration officers discovered a suspicious object at the departure hall. Officers of the Police Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau were then called to the scene to handle the object. The exercise aims to promote awareness of bomb threats taking place in public facilities and enhance the co-ordination as well as the preparedness of police units and Inter-departmental Counter Terrorism Unit member departments in handling suspicious objects. More than 250 officers from Police, Customs, the Fire Services Department and Immigration Department took part in the exercise.
20/03/2020
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today said it is helping Hong Kong residents stranded in Morocco to return home after the country temporarily suspended air traffic. As a measure against COVID-19, Moroccan authorities announced a temporary suspension of air traffic on March 15, leaving some Hong Kong residents stranded in the country. Since then, the Security Bureau and Immigration Department have been in contact with various parties to understand the situation and take follow-up action. They include the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in Hong Kong, the Chinese Embassy in the Kingdom of Morocco, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in China, as well as the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong and relevant travel agencies. So far, the Immigration Department has received assistance requests from 147 Hong Kong residents concerning home passage, through its 1868 hotline, and referrals from the Chinese embassy in Morocco and Legislative Council members. Among them, 70 are from group tours and more than 70 are individual travellers. The department immediately rendered proper advice and assistance in accordance with their and their families’ wishes. With co-ordination between the Hong Kong SAR Government and commercial airlines, 72 Hong Kong residents have already booked their flights home. ​To assist the affected residents to return home, the SAR Government has been taking action on multiple fronts.     ​Through its Beijing office and the Moroccan embassy in China, the SAR Government sought information from Moroccan authorities about commercial flights operating there. Additionally, the Civil Aviation Department has been actively liaising with airlines still operating at the airport of Casablanca to secure flights for Hong Kong residents to catch out of the country to destinations where they can transit back home.     ​The SAR Government will continue to closely monitor COVID-19-related measures implemented by Moroccan authorities and their impact on Hong Kong residents there. The Security Bureau and the Immigration Department will stay in close contact with relevant parties as well as affected Hong Kong residents and their families. Hong Kong residents travelling outside the city who need assistance may call the 24-hour hotline (852) 1868 of the Immigration Department’s Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit.
18/03/2020
The Government published in the Gazette today a regulation to impose compulsory quarantine orders on all people arriving from all places outside China, starting midnight on March 19 for three months. The resolute and rigorous measure aims to combat the COVID-19 global outbreak. Under the regulation, all people having stayed in overseas countries and territories specified by a general notice in the Gazette for any period during the 14 days preceding arrival in Hong Kong, regardless of nationality and travel documents used, will be subject to compulsory quarantine for 14 days. The Secretary for Food & Health announced by the general notice that the compulsory quarantine requirement would apply to arrivals from all places outside China starting from midnight on March 19. The move followed the Government’s announcement yesterday on the Red Outbound Travel Alert issued on all foreign countries and territories and was made in accordance with the regulation. Under the regulation, the relevant person, during the quarantine period, will be quarantined (a) in a place assigned by an authorised officer; or (b) if an authorised officer considers it prudent and appropriate in the circumstances of the case - in a place nominated by the person when the quarantine order is made against the person. The Chief Secretary may, according to the regulation, exempt certain categories of people fulfilling the following criteria from the quarantine requirement. They include those supplying goods or services required for the normal operation of Hong Kong or the daily needs of the people in Hong Kong; for governmental operation; for the protection of the safety or health of the people of Hong Kong or the handling of public health emergency; or cases of exceptional circumstance that serves the public interest of Hong Kong.  Separately, the Chief Secretary has exempted eight categories of people from the quarantine requirement with effect from the regulation’s commencement. Some of them are crew members of aircrafts who need to commute to and from foreign places for performance of necessary duties; crew members of goods vessels; government officials carrying out governmental duties; experts, personnel of the academic sectors or of international authorities who are engaged in research and/or provide advice in combating the COVID-19 infection to the Hong Kong Government. The Department of Health will arrange medical surveillance for people under the eight exempted categories during their stay in Hong Kong. They are required to wear masks and check their temperature daily for reporting to the department. They are also subject to the temperature check and health declaration procedures carried out by the department at various boundary control points during arrival and departure clearance. Contravening the quarantine requirement would be a criminal offence with a maximum fine of $25,000 and imprisonment for six months.
18/03/2020
Police today refuted an overseas media report alleging that Mainland law enforcement officers were deployed to Hong Kong to observe the force’s frontline operations. It had issued a written reply earlier to the overseas media concerned to make the clarification. Police reiterated that there was no such visit nor observation by any members of Mainland law enforcement agencies during the recent protests, as mentioned in the media report. It expressed regret over such an unfounded report.
18/03/2020
The Government published in the Gazette today a regulation to impose compulsory quarantine orders on all people arriving from all places outside China, starting midnight on March 19 for three months. The resolute and rigorous measure aims to combat the COVID-19 global outbreak. Under the regulation, all people having stayed in overseas countries and territories specified by a general notice in the Gazette for any period during the 14 days preceding arrival in Hong Kong, regardless of nationality and travel documents used, will be subject to compulsory quarantine for 14 days. The Secretary for Food & Health announced by the general notice that the compulsory quarantine requirement would apply to arrivals from all places outside China starting from midnight on March 19. The move followed the Government’s announcement yesterday on the Red Outbound Travel Alert issued on all foreign countries and territories and was made in accordance with the regulation. Under the regulation, the relevant person, during the quarantine period, will be quarantined (a) in a place assigned by an authorised officer; or (b) if an authorised officer considers it prudent and appropriate in the circumstances of the case - in a place nominated by the person when the quarantine order is made against the person. The Chief Secretary may, according to the regulation, exempt certain categories of people fulfilling the following criteria from the quarantine requirement. They include those supplying goods or services required for the normal operation of Hong Kong or the daily needs of the people in Hong Kong; for governmental operation; for the protection of the safety or health of the people of Hong Kong or the handling of public health emergency; or cases of exceptional circumstance that serves the public interest of Hong Kong.  Separately, the Chief Secretary has exempted eight categories of people from the quarantine requirement with effect from the regulation’s commencement. Some of them are crew members of aircrafts who need to commute to and from foreign places for performance of necessary duties; crew members of goods vessels; government officials carrying out governmental duties; experts, personnel of the academic sectors or of international authorities who are engaged in research and/or provide advice in combating the COVID-19 infection to the Hong Kong Government. The Department of Health will arrange medical surveillance for people under the eight exempted categories during their stay in Hong Kong. They are required to wear masks and check their temperature daily for reporting to the department. They are also subject to the temperature check and health declaration procedures carried out by the department at various boundary control points during arrival and departure clearance. Contravening the quarantine requirement would be a criminal offence with a maximum fine of $25,000 and imprisonment for six months.
18/03/2020
Police today refuted an overseas media report alleging that Mainland law enforcement officers were deployed to Hong Kong to observe the force’s frontline operations. It had issued a written reply earlier to the overseas media concerned to make the clarification. Police reiterated that there was no such visit nor observation by any members of Mainland law enforcement agencies during the recent protests, as mentioned in the media report. It expressed regret over such an unfounded report.
17/03/2020
In view of the health risks arising from the COVID-19 outbreak globally, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today issued the Red Outbound Travel Alert (OTA) on all overseas countries/territories. The Security Bureau said the decision was made due to the persistent and rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases globally and was based on public health considerations. As the pandemic situation around the world is evolving rapidly, members of the public are strongly urged to adjust their travel plans and avoid any non-essential travel outside Hong Kong. Countries across the globe have implemented different quarantine measures which would affect people's travel arrangements. For those who are already outside Hong Kong, they should heed the announcements of local authorities, always wear surgical masks and avoid visiting healthcare facilities and crowded places. If travel is unavoidable, the public should pay close attention to the latest COVID-19 situation and the corresponding travel health advice issued by the Department of Health (DH). They may call the 24-hour hotline of the Immigration Department’s Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit at (852) 1868 or contact the Chinese Embassy in the respective countries/territories for assistance. After returning to Hong Kong, they should consult a doctor promptly if experiencing a fever or other symptoms. Updates will be issued through the media, the Government’s thematic webpage and the Security Bureau’s OTA webpage. Call the DH’s hotline (852) 2125 1122 that operates daily from 8am to midnight for enquiries on health information relating to COVID-19.
17/03/2020
In view of the health risks arising from the COVID-19 outbreak globally, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today issued the Red Outbound Travel Alert (OTA) on all overseas countries/territories. The Security Bureau said the decision was made due to the persistent and rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases globally and was based on public health considerations. As the pandemic situation around the world is evolving rapidly, members of the public are strongly urged to adjust their travel plans and avoid any non-essential travel outside Hong Kong. Countries across the globe have implemented different quarantine measures which would affect people's travel arrangements. For those who are already outside Hong Kong, they should heed the announcements of local authorities, always wear surgical masks and avoid visiting healthcare facilities and crowded places. If travel is unavoidable, the public should pay close attention to the latest COVID-19 situation and the corresponding travel health advice issued by the Department of Health (DH). They may call the 24-hour hotline of the Immigration Department’s Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit at (852) 1868 or contact the Chinese Embassy in the respective countries/territories for assistance. After returning to Hong Kong, they should consult a doctor promptly if experiencing a fever or other symptoms. Updates will be issued through the media, the Government’s thematic webpage and the Security Bureau’s OTA webpage. Call the DH’s hotline (852) 2125 1122 that operates daily from 8am to midnight for enquiries on health information relating to COVID-19.
15/03/2020
In view of the health risks arising from the outbreak of COVID-19 in Ireland, the UK and the US, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today issued the Red Outbound Travel Alert (OTA) on these countries. The decision to issue the alert for these countries was made due to the persistent and rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases there. Additionally, the Hong Kong SAR Government reminded the public about the red OTA on the Schengen Area in Europe, Korea as well as Hokkaido, Japan. It also alerted the public about the outbreak of COVID-19 cases and associated health risks in Egypt and Iran under the red OTA currently in force on those two countries. Under the red OTA, members of the public planning to travel to those countries are urged to adjust their travel plans and avoid non-essential travel. For those who are already in the countries, they should heed the announcements of local authorities, always wear surgical masks and avoid visiting healthcare facilities and crowded places. If it is unavoidable to travel to these countries, people should pay close attention to the latest situation of COVID-19 and the corresponding travel health advice issued by the Department of Health. They may call the 24-hour hotline of the Immigration Department’s Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit at (852) 1868 or contact the Chinese Embassy in the respective countries at their consular protection hotline for assistance. Residents are also encouraged to use the Registration of Outbound Travel Information service to register their contact details and itinerary when outside Hong Kong. After returning to Hong Kong, they should consult a doctor promptly if experiencing a fever or other symptoms. Updates will be issued through the HKSAR Government's thematic webpage and the Security Bureau's OTA webpage. Call the Department of Health’s hotline (852) 2125 1122 for enquiries on health information relating to COVID-19.

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