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Hong Kong asks residents to defer non-urgent travel

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The Hong Kong government has warned the city's residents to consider deferring all non-essential travel outside of the territory, as the coronavirus becomes increasingly prevalent around the world.

[HONG KONG] The Hong Kong government has warned the city's residents to consider deferring all non-essential travel outside of the territory, as the coronavirus becomes increasingly prevalent around the world.

It had already placed a red alert - the second-highest warning in Hong Kong - on travelling to South Korea and the Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and Veneto regions of Italy.

However, the government said all travellers out of Hong Kong should now contemplate putting their plans on hold.

Hong Kong has reported 106 cases of coronavirus and two deaths in the past six weeks, according to the city's health officials.

Just three of the territory's 13 borders with mainland China remain open following the announcement of closures by Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam on February 3.

Covid-19 is the name of the illness caused by the new coronavirus.

"As the transmission of Covid-19 virus has been increasing around the world, they are advised to consider delaying all non-essential travel outside Hong Kong," the Centre for Health Protection said in a statement published on a government website on Friday.

All travellers arriving into Hong Kong from Sunday will have to complete a health declaration form, a measure which had been put in place only for mainland Chinese passengers, according to the statement.

REUTERS