Hong Kong expands restrictions after hundreds of COVID-19 cases discovered at public housing complex

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Hong Kong authorities have expanded their lockdown restrictions after hundreds of residents at a public housing complex tested positive for COVID-19, The Associated Press reported.

The housing block where the outbreak was discovered is already locked down, and Hong Kong Executive Carrie Lam said Tuesday that the second residential block in the complex will also enter lockdown down for at least five days.

Hong Kong officials also reimplemented restrictions closing regional schools and are forcing restaurants to close for in-person dining after 6 p.m in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.

Authorities also ordered compulsory testing for residents who live in or visited buildings where the virus was detected, the AP reported.

Lam said the latest measures are aimed to "play safe protecting the residents as well as preventing the spread of the virus."

Hong Kong has also suspended many overseas flights and has required travelers to enter quarantine periods, similar to the mainland Chinese government's "zero-tolerance" approach to the pandemic, the AP noted.

Hong Kong's tough pandemic restrictions have helped virus numbers remain relatively low in the city, but have disrupted the economy and tried residents' patience.

Countries across the globe are dealing with a surge of COVID-19 infections driven by the highly contagious omicron variant.

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