Bahrain lifts SARS curbs on Hong Kong


Bahrain has lifted its ban on passengers from Hong Kong, imposed during the Sars crisis. It means non-GCC nationals will now be able to fly direct from Hong Kong to Bahrain for the first time in two months.

The decision to lift restrictions was taken by members of a special Sars committee established in Bahrain.

It consists of representatives from the Health Ministry, Civil Aviation Affairs (CAA) and the General Directorate of Nationality, Passports and Residence Affairs.

They had come under mounting pressure from airlines and airport authorities to relax their stance. Even when the World Health Organisation (WHO) lifted warnings against travelling to Hong Kong, Bahrain continued to deny entry to non-GCC nationals arriving from that destination.

They would only be allowed entry into Bahrain if they first spent 10 days in a non-infected country.

The announcement was welcomed by travel industry officials. 'I am delighted to hear the news,' said Cathay Pacific Middle East, India and Africa regional manager Charles Brembridge.