By ZEN SOO
HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong International Airport is banning transit passengers from 150 countries and territories starting Sunday, tightening stringent travel controls in an effort to stem the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant. Authorities also said Friday they will extend social distancing restrictions, including a ban on dining in after 6 p.m., by another two weeks over the Lunar New Year holidays to Feb. 3. Large-scale events, such as Lunar New Year fairs held annually in Hong Kong, will be canceled. Most of the cases linked to the outbreak were traced to two crew members of Cathay Pacific who had broken isolation rules and dined at restaurants and bars in the city before testing positive. Over the past two weeks, authorities have locked down multiple residential buildings.