Live Updates: The latest on the coronavirus pandemic and the Omicron variant πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯

Hong Kong will shorten its tough 21-day quarantine requirement for incoming travelers to two weeks, followed by seven days of β€œself-health monitoring,” Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced. During the seven days, people will be allowed to leave their home, but must undergo two rounds of testing. This rule will go into effect starting Feb. 5.

Lam said the quarantine was reduced given the shorter incubation period of the Omicron variant, ​which is now the city’s dominant variant.

Social distancing measures currently in place in Hong Kong, including a ban on in-dining restaurants as well as a shutdown of all entertainment venues will remain until Feb. 17, Lam also said. In-person school classes will remain suspended for two additional weeks, until Feb. 21.

Hong Kong reported 164 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday β€” the highest since the beginning of the pandemic, said Lam.

Dr. Chuang Shuk-Kwan, head of the Communicable Disease Branch of the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health, said during a daily news conference that 116 of the new infection were locally transmitted cases.

Live Updates: The latest on the coronavirus pandemic and the Omicron variant

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