The Hong Kong government has announced it will suspend flights from the UK starting on Tuesday, after British authorities reported a new coronavirus variant that has spread rapidly across the country.

Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan said Hong Kong has not imposed such stringent measures before, but the measure was necessary to prevent the spread of the mutant coronavirus in the city.

Aircrew at the Hong Kong International Airport. Photo: GovHK.

From midnight, travellers from the UK will also be required to stay at home for another seven days after their mandatory two-week quarantine. People who do not comply with the requirement could face a fine of HK$5,000.

Meanwhile, Chan said the government had no room to relax the current social distancing measures, saying the existing policies – including a ban on dine-in services at restaurants after 6 pm and the closure of bars – will remain in place until January 6.

As of Sunday, Hong Kong has registered 8,152 Covid-19 infections and 130 related deaths.

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Kelly Ho

Kelly Ho has an interest in local politics, education and sports. She formerly worked at South China Morning Post Young Post, where she specialised in reporting on issues related to Hong Kong youth. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong, with a second major in Politics and Public Administration.