A passenger wearing anti-infection gear pushes a trolley at Hong Kong International Airport on March 17, 2020. [PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY]

The Hong Kong government on Monday announced it will deny entry to all non-local residents for 14 days entering through flights starting on Wednesday, as part of its further intensified containment measures against widespread infections of the novel coronavirus globally and a surge of imported cases in the city. 

Announcing the measures, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said those from the Chinese mainland, Macao and Taiwan, would be denied entry if they have been overseas in the past 14 days. Other measures include suspending the transit service at the city’s airport and requiring arrivals from Macao and Taiwan to a 14-day mandatory quarantine. 

In the meantime, the city will ban alcoholic drinks at restaurants and bars holding a liquor license to reduce the risk of local transmission after at least six cases were linked to the city’s nightlife hub, Lan Kwai Fong. 

The government will talk to the food and beverage industry to take sufficient measures to protect their diners. If such measures prove to be invalid, the government will, through legislation, limit the operation period of restaurants or their seats in service. 

The government also will extend its virus test to all arrivals from the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom upon their arrival. They will be given a sampling container for collecting deep throat saliva. Currently, only asymptomatic patients were given such test upon their arrival. All 143 of samples collected so far returned negative.