Hong Kong snaps China rail link

Hong Kong snaps China rail link

Agency News

The Hong Kong leader, Ms. Carrie Lam, announced on Tuesday a suspension of high-speed rail and ferry links with mainland China as the global financial hub scrambles along with many countries to limit the spread of a new coronavirus.

More than 100 people have died from the virus, which emerged in China’s central city of Wuhan in December. The number of confirmed cases was at 4,515 by Monday, up from 2,835 the previous day, health authorities said.

High-Speed Rail and Intercity Through Train services will be suspended from midnight on Thursday, Ms. Lam said, and the number of flights to mainland China will be halved and personal travel permits for mainland Chinese to the city suspended.

"I thank the central government for supporting our work in this aspect (suspending cross-border transport) and the relevant mainland ministries and commissions for co-operating with us," she told a news conference.

Lam, wearing a green mask, also urged Hong Kong residents to return from the mainland as soon as possible and quarantine themselves at home for 14 days.

With Hong Kong financial markets set to reopen after the Lunar New Year holiday, Lam was flanked at the news conference by city health secretary Sophia Chan and icommerce secretary Edward Yau, both also wearing masks.