Hong Kong has suspended flights with the UK over the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19.

“The Government announced today the invocation of the place-specific flight suspension mechanism for the United Kingdom (UK),” Hong Kong’s local government said in a statement on Monday evening.

The statement said that the UK will also be listed in the “extremely high-risk” countries.

It said the decision was taken in view of the recent “rebound of the epidemic situation in the UK and the widespread Delta variant virus strain there.”

The UK on Monday saw its highest daily number of coronavirus cases since the end of January.

The Delta variant, which was first detected in India, constitutes over 90% of new COVID-19 cases across the UK.

Some 22,868 people in the UK tested positive for the virus on Monday. On June 22-28, 116,287 people had a confirmed positive test result. This is a staggering increase of nearly 70% from the previous week.

Joseph Tsang from the Hong Kong Medical Association, told public broadcaster RTHK: “We need to be vigilant about whether there’s any imported Delta variant that will affect our community. This interim measure has to be revised or reviewed at intervals to make sure the banning of UK flights won’t affect our citizens very much.”

To date, Hong Kong has reported 11,921 coronavirus cases including 211 deaths.

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