Secretary for Security John Lee today said two chartered flights are ready to bring home Hong Kong residents quarantined for the novel coronavirus on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.
Speaking during a press briefing at the airport, Mr Lee noted the two flights will leave Japan on February 19 and arrive in Hong Kong the following day. The Hong Kong residents can board the flights once Japan authorities clear their blood tests, but they will be placed under quarantine again when they return home.
“After their arrival in Hong Kong, they will be sent to quarantine camps for 14 days’ quarantine.”
He urged all the Hong Kong residents to accept a seat on the flights, so they could go through the proper procedures together, adding that they could encounter difficulties if they tried to return home by themselves.
“I advise all Hong Kong residents to take this chartered flight so that they will all come back together to go through the procedure for their own health reason and for the protection of other people.”
Mr Lee revealed that each chartered flight has more than 400 seats which are enough to cater for the some 350 Hong Kong people on the cruise, including 260 Hong Kong permanent residents, and 90 foreign passport holders.
The security chief also said there are five Macau citizens onboard the cruise who can join the chartered flights and will receive help in getting back to Macau once they land in Hong Kong.