HONG KONG — Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says authorities would reclassify countries into high, medium and low-risk, and update quarantine requirements to favor vaccinated travelers as it seeks to prevent imported coronavirus infections from leaking into the community.
Under the new measures announced Monday, only vaccinated Hong Kong residents will be able to return to Hong Kong from countries deemed high-risk. For medium-risk countries, only Hong Kong residents and vaccinated non-residents can return to the city.
All arrivals must present a negative coronavirus test result taken within the 72 hours before they board their flight to Hong Kong.
Authorities also said civil servants must get vaccinated or get regular coronavirus tests at their own expense.
Staff in quarantine hotels and at the airports, as well as employees at schools and homes for the elderly and the disabled were also ordered to get vaccinated or pay for regular testing in the future.
Certain restaurant workers who are unvaccinated will also need to be tested every seven days instead of every 14 days.
MORE ON THE PANDEMIC:
— Fauci says more suffering lies ahead as coronavirus cases surge again
— UK eases travel restrictions as industry lobbies for more
— Iran records highest number of daily COVID cases in pandemic
— Find more AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine
KARACHI, Pakistan — Hundreds of Pakistani businessmen, mostly shop owners, have rallied in the southern port city of Karachi against the recent imposition of a lockdown there amid an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases.
The demonstrators on Monday demanded the lifting of the lockdown, saying their businesses are being hurt.
The lockdown, which began over the weekend, will remain in place until August 8.
The demonstrators promised to adhere to social distancing rules. It was not clear whether the government will accept their demand.
But before announcing the lockdown, authorities had repeatedly asked people to stop violating social distancing rules in order to avoid strict measures.
Pakistani authorities say they imposed the lockdown amid a surge in new infections and fatalities.
The South Asian country of over 216 million people has reported 103,9695 confirmed cases and 23,462 virus-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.
On Monday it reported 40 new deaths in the past day and 4,858 deaths.
BUCHAREST, Romania — The second 150,000 doses of a planned 500,000-dose supply of Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccines have arrived in Moldova — a donation from the United States to help the former Soviet republic inoculate its small nation.
The vaccine donation is part of the U.N.-backed COVAX program that is shipping coronavirus vaccines to poor countries to help combat the global pandemic.
Moldova, a nation of around 3.5 million sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, has so far administered more than a million vaccine doses, but only 495,000 have been fully inoculated against COVID-19.
The U.S. Embassy in Moldova wrote Monday that the American people “are honored” to send the vaccines, adding: “These are single shot vaccines, which can inoculate half a million Moldovans against the Coronavirus.”
Meanwhile, the Moldovan government urged people to be vaccinated.
Since the pandemic began, Moldova has recorded more than 259,000 infections and 6,255 people have died.