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Hong Kong tightens travel curbs to combat COVID-zero

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Residents and tourists returning from 16 countries are now considered “high-risk” due to the Delta outbreak

Hong Kong introduces tighter travel restrictions for incoming residents

Hong Kong appears to be caught between its COVID-zero policy and its strong desire to re-open after tightening travel restrictions for incoming travellers. 

The move comes less than two months after the easing of tough quarantine measures, as fears grow regarding a resurgence in COVID-19 cases from the Delta variant.

Travel curbs are tightened for residents returning from 16 countries including the United States, France and Spain.

Initially these countries were considered “medium-risk” but are now upgraded to the “high-risk” category following recent outbreaks, a government spokesperson says.

“The global COVID-19 epidemic situation is under serious threat from the Delta variant, with acute surges in the number of confirmed cases within a short period of time in many countries.”

“Despite large-scale vaccination programmes, many places are also experiencing resurgence of the virus, which poses enormous challenges to our local anti-epidemic efforts.”

The new restrictions, taking effect from midnight August 20, means vaccinated residents returning from those countries must spend 21 days in hotel quarantine upon arrival. 

The curb will also see unvaccinated residents and tourists denied entry into the region. 

“After considering a basket of factors, the Government … has imposed more stringent boarding, quarantine and testing requirements on relevant inbound travellers in order to uphold the local barrier against the importation of COVID-19,” a government spokesperson says.

Prior to the update in restrictions, arriving residents and tourists who are vaccinated, only had to isolate in hotel quarantine for one week. 

But the seven-day isolation period wasn’t enough for a returning resident from the United States who tested positive for the virus after completing their week-stay in quarantine. 

“The Government will continue to closely monitor the epidemic situation of various places and adopt a risk-based approach,” a government spokesperson says.

“[We will] adjust the boarding, quarantine and testing requirements for persons arriving at Hong Kong from relevant places based on the risk levels as the situation warrants.”

Written by Rebecca Borg

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Hopelessly devoted to Olivia Newton John

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We have lost a true Hollywood and “our girl” – the Australian icon

Olivia Newton John has passed away at the age of 73

She was an icon for so many battling cancer, as she had done for such a long time.

In a post on Facebook, her family says:

Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer. Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made in her memory to the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund

Olivia rose to stardom for her remarkable performance in hit musical “Grease” where she co-starred alongside Actor John Travolta, in 1978.

She was just 29 years of age, playing the role of an innocent teen in love with the bad boy.

Tributes are pouring in for Olivia Newton John.

Travolta has released a statement in tribute to the late icon.

“My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better…Your impact was incredible. I love you so much. We will see you down the road and we will all be together again. Yours from the moment I saw you and forever! Your Danny, your John!”

John Travolta tribute to Olivia Newton-John on Instagram

What a duo they were, and what a legacy she leaves behind.

Daughter remembers her Newton-John as “best friend”

Newton-John’s daughter Chloe Lattanzi shared this beautiful childhood image with her late mother, with no words.

Only three days before Lattanzi had shared a recent image with her mother captioned “I worship this woman. My mother. My best friend.”

Fellow entertainers and leaders the world over have also paid tribute to the beloved star.

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Violence ends with a ceasefire in Gaza

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A ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants could be the beginning of the end for violence in Gaza

Weapons from both sides were fired minutes before an overnight ceasefire came into effect in Gaza.

The Egypt-brokered deal saw no further violence reported overnight.

At least 44 people have died since the conflict erupted again in May last year.

“Our fight is not with the people of Gaza. Islamic Jihad is an Iranian proxy that wants to destroy the State of Israel and kill innocent Israelis. The head of Islamic Jihad is in Tehran as we speak. We will do whatever it takes to defend our people.”

YAIR Lapid, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL

Meanwhile, the U.S. and United Nations continue to urge both sides to observe the ceasefire and work towards peace.

U.S. President Joe Biden said all parties need “to fully implement [it] and to ensure fuel and humanitarian supplies are flowing into Gaza”.

President Biden is also urging for an investigation into the deaths of civilians.

The leader of the Islamic Jihad’s operations in southern Gaza, Khaled Mansour, was killed over the weekend. Israel believes he is responsible for several acts of terror against Israelis.

“We appreciate the Egyptian efforts that had been exerted to end the Israeli aggression against our people,” a spokesperson for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad said.

However, Israeli officials believe they have “the right to respond strongly” if the ceasefire is violated.

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Urgent investigation underway as a fourth Muslim is killed in New Mexico

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U.S. President Joe Biden says he is angered by the killings of four Muslim men in New Mexico

Police say the deaths of four Muslim men may be linked, as an investigation commences into their killings.

Albuquerque Police say “young man who is part of the Muslim community was murdered,” overnight on Friday.

They did not identify the man but he is believed to be in his mid-20s, Muslim and “a native from south Asia”.

His body was discovered near an office that offers help to refugees.

Two of the previous victims were Pakistani man, 27, and a 41-year-old male.

“The targeted killings of Muslim residents of Albuquerque is deeply angering and wholly intolerable.”

Michelle Lujan Grisham, GOVERNOR of new mexico

Police have identified a vehicle of interest, as authorities provide extra presence at mosques during prayer times.

The killings have taken place across nine months, and authorities are growing concerned they could be related.

There are up to 5,000 Muslims in Albuquerque, which is New Mexico’s largest city.

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