HONG KONG, March 13 (Xinhua) -- The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government issued the red outbound travel alert on Europe's Schengen Area on Friday in its latest effort to curb the spreading novel coronavirus.
File photo: CGTN
The alert covers all 26 countries that belong to the area including Austria, Finland, France and Greece, according to an official statement.
The government urged Hong Kong residents about to travel to those countries to adjust their plans and in general advised members of the public to consider delaying all non-essential travel outside Hong Kong.
Responding to the rapid increase in the number of novel coronavirus cases overseas, the government has issued such alerts on multiple countries and regions such as Iran, South Korea and Hokkaido in Japan. More than 50,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus infections have been reported in about 120 countries and regions outside the Chinese mainland.
In the statement, the government also alerted the public about the outbreak of the epidemic and associated public health risks in Egypt, on which an alert issued in 2014 due to safety concerns is still effective.
In addition to the alert, the Department of Health of the HKSAR government also expanded its mandatory home quarantine to arrivals who have been to the Schengen Area and South Korea (except for the country's Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do) in the past 14 days, effective Tuesday.