HK, Macau tours suspended until April 30: Tourism Bureau

Toursits are seen visiting a Lantern Festival-theme exhibition near Sanchung, New Taipei, on Feb. 16, 2020. (CNA)
Toursits are seen visiting a Lantern Festival-theme exhibition near Sanchung, New Taipei, on Feb. 16, 2020. (CNA)

TAIPEI (CNA) — The suspension of all Taiwanese tours to Hong Kong and Macau or tours transiting through those locations to another destination will be extended from the end of March until the end of April, the Tourism Bureau said Wednesday.

The decision came after Taiwan raised its travel advisory for Hong Kong and Macau from a level 2 alert to the highest level 3 alert on Feb. 10 after Hong Kong declared community outbreaks and cluster infections of COVID-19 coronavirus in the territory, the bureau said.

Over 70 percent of flights across the Taiwan Strait and on the Taiwan-Macau and Taiwan-Hong Kong routes have been canceled between Feb. 10-16, according to the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA).

The CAA said that passenger traffic has dropped by more than 80 percent during that period from the weekly average for December 2019 due to the flight cancellations.

As of 1:40 p.m. Wednesday, China (including Hong Kong and Macau) had recorded more than 74,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 2,008 deaths, while Taiwan has had 22 confirmed cases, including one death.