Hong Kong ‘very unlikely’ to scrap hotel quarantine before July


Cleaners in protective gear dumping garbage outside a quarantine hotel in Hong Kong on April 2, 2022. - Reuters

HONG KONG (Bloomberg): Hong Kong will probably keep mandatory hotel quarantine requirements for incoming travellers until at least the end of June, its outgoing leader said, despite business leaders’ growing calls to join the rest of the world in opening up.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Tuesday (May 24) at a regular press briefing that a "significant amount” of the city’s daily infections still came from imported cases. Considering new variants were emerging globally, the financial hub still had to be extremely careful in loosening restrictions on border controls, Lam added.

"It’s very unlikely that during my term there would be more relaxations on the border controls,” she said.

"In other words, we will still have the hotel quarantine. We will still require vaccination before a passenger can board a plane to Hong Kong and we will still impose the test and hold, whether at the airport or at a hotel, for a PCR test, in order to keep Hong Kong safe.”

Lam’s term expires at the end of next month, clearing the way for former Chief Secretary John Lee to be installed as leader on July 1 -- the 25th anniversary of the city’s handover from British to Chinese rule.

Hong Kong is under pressure from the city’s business community and foreign airlines to drop its notorious mandatory hotel quarantine for incoming vaccinated travellers -- a policy that’s isolated the financial hub and been criticised as ineffective after failing to keep out the Omicron variant.

While tight border controls have left Hong Kong lagging, the city has drifted in recent months from President Xi Jinping’s punishing Covid Zero policy that strives to eliminate all community infection and has plunged mainland cities into lockdown.

Article type: free
User access status:
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Hong Kong , quarantine , covid-19

   

Next In Aseanplus News

Kidney transplants in Singapore hit by Covid-19 even as wait list grows; cases increasing as 6,168 new infections reported
Indonesian president Jokowi to visit Russia and Ukraine this week
Thaksin family scion, the ever popular Paetongtarn Shinawatra, is top choice of Thais in survey for PM Job
Vietnam central bank to increase forex sales frequency to ensure supply to market
Myanmar reports 15 new Covid-19 cases as daily infections are now in single digit
Cambodia and China's Jiangsu province launch "Silk Road E-commerce"
Laos to restrict development on agricultural land
Over nine per cent of Brunei's population have received fourth Covid-19 dose
Vietnam's Da Nang city holds investment forum; govt goes all out to attract foreign investments
Commonwealth ends summit with call for action on climate change and trade

Others Also Read