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Hong Kong Resumes Limited Transit Flights

Partial opening means new rules for transit passengers as the airport authority takes steps to minimize the spread of coronavirus

Transit flights at Hong Kong International Airport have resumed, but passengers will be faced with a series of additional safety measures put in place to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Transit services through the airport were suspended initially on March 25, and later extended on April 7.

Among the new rules for passengers transiting the airport:

•Transit passengers are required to undergo mandatory temperature checks.

•After having their temperature taken, passengers are to go straight to their connecting gate, skipping the Duty Free shops, eateries and airline lounges (although there will be designated dining areas for travelers with long layovers of up to eight hours).

•Layovers of over 8 hours won’t be permitted, at least for the time being.

•Travelers need to be aware that transits are only permitted if the inbound and outbound flight are on same booking.

•Hong Kong remains off limits to anyone except Hong Kong residents, or passengers from Mainland China, Taiwan or Macao who are all required to undergo a full COVID-19 test on arrival and are subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

•Also off limits to Hong Kong transit passengers are connecting flights going to mainland China, an attempt by authorities to limit the number international passengers entering the country.

Airlines operating to Hong Kong must comply with basic safety protocols, the airport authority says, such as requiring passengers and crew to wear face masks, checking passenger temperatures prior to boarding and making hand sanitizer available for everyone onboard.

The partial lifting of HKIA’s transit travel ban coincides with the resumption of transit flights through Singapore Changi Airport this week.