It was understood the government is set to make the announcement on the easing as early as today, with the updated policy kicking in around 10 days later.

Under the current circuit-breaking mechanism, airlines will be banned from flying a particular route for seven days if three or more passengers on a flight are found to be infected upon arrival or if there’s one confirmed infection and another non-compliant passenger on hotel quarantine bookings and pre-departure tests.

On Thursday alone, 11 routes were under a ban. In all, Hong Kong issued 23 flight suspension orders to 14 airlines between April 1 and Wednesday, according to the Centre for Health Protection.

Tourism-sector lawmaker Perry Yiu Pak-leung agreed that an easing in the mechanism could lower the number of flight routes being banned and allow the tourism industry to make better arrangements.

He suggested authorities only ban an airline’s particular route when a certain proportion of passengers on the flight were found infected, with the threshold set at 5 percent of the total passengers for the ban to kick in.