January 30, 2023

Hong Kong is working to reduce the time travelers will need to serve hotel quarantine, from seven to three days from Friday.

“The arrangement of the hotel quarantine for a period of seven days will be changed to three days in the quarantine hotel, in addition to four days of home medical monitoring,” CEO John Lee said at a press conference on Monday.

After completing the hotel quarantine, travelers can stay at home or in a hotel for four days of observation. Li said in Cantonese that during this period people will be able to leave their place of residence, but they cannot enter “places where there is an active screening of vaccine cards”.

This includes bars, pubs, gyms and beauty salons. People are also not allowed to visit nursing homes, schools, and designated medical buildings during the probation period.

“They cannot participate in any activities where the masks are removed,” Lee added. If they test negative on a rapid antigen test, he said, they can take public transportation, go to work, and enter malls.

“We have to strike a balance between the level of risk as well as our economic activity. And where the risks can be controlled, we want to keep the maximum movement of people and maintain Hong Kong’s competitiveness,” Lee said.

Hong Kong has imposed strict border controls to stem the spread of Covid. But thousands left the Chinese city as the restrictive measures affected the population while most of the world opened up.

Based on trends in imported cases, 80% of infections are picked up within three days, Health Minister Lu Zhongmao said.

“An additional four nights in a quarantine hotel – that is, seven nights in a quarantine hotel – is not cost-effective and will also affect Hong Kong’s connection to the world,” he said at the same press conference.

Shares of Cathay Pacific Airlines in Hong Kong jumped 2.36% after the announcement.

Health and Science CNBC

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