HONG KONG (Reuters) – The Hong Kong government has urged Japan to withdraw COVID-19 restrictions that require passenger flights from financial hubs to land only at four designated Japanese airports. , said the decision will affect about 60,000 passengers.

Japan, a top travel destination for Hong Kong people, has announced that it will restrict flights from Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China to two airports in Tokyo, plus Osaka and Nagoya, from Friday. This decision will be made during the peak travel season, prior to the Chinese New Year holiday beginning January 22nd.

“It is understood that between December 30, 2022 and the end of January 2023, about 250 Hong Kong airline flights will be affected, affecting about 60,000 passengers,” the government said late Wednesday. said in a statement.

Mayor John Lee said the government showed its disappointment with the Japanese government.

“Hong Kong people think they should be allowed to use more than just these four airports,” Lee said.

The government will continue to operate Hong Kong Airlines flights returning to Hong Kong from various airports in Japan “to ensure the smooth return of Hong Kong people from Japan and to minimize the impact of the incident on Hong Kong tourists”. Said it can be carried.

Cathay Pacific Airways, Hong Kong’s flagship carrier (0293.HK)
said it has been actively engaging with Japanese authorities since the latest travel restrictions were announced on Tuesday and will provide an update to customers and the public by noon on Thursday.

Hong Kong Airlines and Peach Aviation have announced the cancellation of some flight routes due to regulations.

The United States, India, Italy and Taiwan have made COVID-19 testing mandatory for travelers from China after Beijing decided to lift its strict zero COVID policy.

China began dismantling its COVID regime in December with the world’s strictest lockdowns and mass testing, putting its battered economy on track for a full reopening next year.

The lifting of restrictions, followed by widespread outcry against them, could allow COVID to spread largely unchecked, infecting millions of people a day, according to some international health experts. It means that there is

Reporting by Farah Master and Twinnie Siu. Edited by Lincoln Feast.

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.