Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Monday announced new border closures over the Wuhan virus, amid intense public pressure to stop anyone crossing into the city from mainland China.
Lam said further measures were being taken “to ensure the control of the boundary control points to reduce people movement across the border,” but fell short of a complete sealing off of the city.
Lam said the main land borders at Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau would shut as of midnight tonight, as would the Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal.
That will leave all but three border crossings between Hong Kong and mainland China closed. Those which remain open are the city’s international airport, the Shenzhen Bay border and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge.
Lam’s announcement comes after health workers in Hong Kong began a five-day strike on Monday, demanding a full border closure and greater support from the government.
“This has nothing to do with the five-day strike by healthcare workers,” Lam said, however. “If anyone thinks that by resorting to such extreme measures the government will be made to do something that is not rational or something that will only harm the public they will not get anywhere.”
The number of Chinese citizens entering Hong Kong has fallen since the initial closures, the government said earlier, with the vast majority of those continuing to cross the mainland border being Hong Kong residents. It is unclear how the new closures will affect those who work in the city but live across the border, and vice versa.