Carrie Lam, embattled leader of Hong Kong, announced on Tuesday that the city would cut most transport links with Mainland China effective Thursday due to the spread of coronavirus.
Convenient rail and ferry services are entirely stopped, and flight arrivals are cut by 50%. China will stop issuing visas for Mainland visitors to Hong Kong and close border crossings. These changes will drastically affect visitor numbers and hotel occupancy rates in the city.
Here’s an excerpt from the SCMP (access their piece here):
Hong Kong will drastically reduce cross-border travel with mainland China in a bid to contain the spread of the deadly Wuhan coronavirus, starting with the shutdown of the two railways and denying entry to individual mainland travellers.
Flights from and to mainland China will be cut by half and cross-border tour buses will also be reduced, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced in a press conference as she listed the containment strategy that stopped short of a total shutdown demanded by legislators from across the political spectrum.
Beijing has agreed to stop issuing individual travel visas for mainlanders, who account for half of all such mainland arrivals into the city. The measures will be effective midnight on Thursday.
These changes will have a drastic effect on the number of overnight guests in Hong Kong that has already been affected by the democracy demonstrations.
Cathay Pacific and Dragon need to curtail their flights to the Mainland that will also affect loads to destinations outside of Hong Kong as a large percentage of the traffic is transit.
I am scheduled to be in Hong Kong for few nights this March. Let’s see if this coronavirus has been contained by then.