HONG KONG: Hong Kong will ban all non-residents from entering the financial hub from Wednesday (Mar 25), its leader said on Monday, as it tries to halt a recent spike in coronavirus infections from people returning from abroad.

“From midnight of Mar 25, all non-Hong Kong residents flying in from overseas will not be allowed into the city,” chief executive Carrie Lam said, adding that the order would be in place for at least two weeks.

All individuals coming from Taiwan and Macau, including Hong Kong residents, will also need to be quarantined, Lam said.

Last Tuesday, Lam said that all arrivals to the city would be subject to a 14-day quarantine, but the new restrictions did not apply to arrivals from Macau or Taiwan. Residents were also advised to avoid all non-essential travel.

The city is also studying whether to suspend the sale of alcohol at licensed bars and restaurants, it was announced on Monday.

Authorities across the Asia-Pacific region have ramped up efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19 amid fears of a second wave of infections in places where outbreaks had appeared under control.

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