Hong Kong scrapping quarantine for international arrivals, says leader

Hong Kong scrapping quarantine for international arrivals, says leader

Travellers queue up for shuttle bus to quarantine hotels at the Hong Kong International Airport, amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, in Hong Kong, China, August 1, 2022. — Reuters pic

Friday, 23 Sep 2022 4:26 PM MYT

HONG KONG, Sept 23 — Hong Kong announced today it will end mandatory hotel quarantine, scrapping some of the world’s toughest travel restrictions that have battered the economy and kept the finance hub internationally isolated.

The long-awaited move will bring relief to residents and businesses who have been clamouring for the Asian business hub to rejoin the rest of the world in resuming unhindered travel and living alongside the coronavirus.

For the past two and a half years, Hong Kong has adhered to a version of China’s strict zero-Covid rules, deepening a brain drain as rival business hubs reopen.

The announcement leaves mainland China as the only major economy still hewing to lengthy quarantine for international arrivals.

Chief Executive John Lee said the current three days of hotel quarantine would be reduced to zero for those arriving into Hong Kong from overseas and Taiwan.

Travellers will be subject to PCR tests on arrival and will be unable to visit restaurants and bars for the first three days under a system authorities have dubbed “0+3”.

“Under this arrangement, the quarantine hotel system will be cancelled,” Lee told reporters. — AFP