It will soon be easier to travel to Hong Kong.

The city will indeed resume its international flights from nine countries including France, the United Kingdom and the United States from April, announced on Monday the head of the local executive Carrie Lam.

It thus lifts a measure to combat Covid-19 put in place at the beginning of January.

After the appearance in the financial center of the highly contagious Omicron variant in January, the authorities had banned flights from eight countries: France, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, the Philippines , Pakistan and India, before adding Nepal in February.

Very severe restrictions

But the toll of the epidemic quickly climbed despite increasingly severe social distancing measures to reach more than a million cases of coronavirus and 5,600 deaths for a population of more than 7 million.

The flight ban "is no longer appropriate," said Carrie Lam.

“The epidemic situation in these countries is no worse than that of Hong Kong, and most of the people who arrive do not show serious symptoms.

Extending this measure will only add to the concerns of Hong Kong residents stranded there.”

Panic in February

His government has been criticized from all sides for its handling of the crisis and unclear communication since the territory was hit by a fifth wave of coronavirus linked to the Omicron variant.

Fear of the territory being locked down sowed panic in February, with residents rushing to supermarkets to buy basic necessities and leading to an unprecedented exodus of foreign and local residents.

The surge in cases has come even as this international financial hub implemented some of the strictest border restrictions and social distancing measures on the planet from the start of the pandemic, with the exception of mainland China.

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