Hong Kong, Feb 8 (IANS): Following a frantic dash to cross one of Hong Kongs few remaining open border crossings with mainland China, traffic dropped drastically on Saturday morning as the governments 14-day mandatory quarantine measure came into force.
Following the measure’s implementation, the Shenzhen Bay Por, Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and the airport, are now the only entry points to Hong Kong that remain open, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) newspaper said in a report.
On Friday, the port handled almost 60,000 arrivals – double that of Wednesday, the day the scheme was announced – as many rushed to get across before the new measures kicked in.
But by Saturday morning, it was desolate with only about a dozen travellers.
Under the scheme, locals will be confined to their homes for 14 days, while non-locals will stay at hotels or the government’s quarantine centres.
Those violating the order face a maximum fine of HK$25,000 and six months in jail.
The government said earlier those under quarantine must return to their homes or hotels within two hours of passing through immigration, but no officer would be escorting them.
On Friday, almost 96,000 people entered Hong Kong, including 76,899 locals and 12,746 mainland Chinese visitors.
As of Saturday, the coronavirus toll in China had increased to 722, with 34,546 confirmed cases.
Hong Kong has reported 26 cases so far.