Hong Kong to end mandatory hotel quarantine for travelers


HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong’s leader has announced the city will no longer require incoming travelers to quarantine at designated hotels as the city seeks to open up to the world after nearly two years.

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong’s leader has announced the city will no longer require incoming travelers to quarantine at designated hotels as the city seeks to open up to the world after nearly two years.

Inbound travelers will also no longer need a negative PCR test within 48 hours before boarding a plane to Hong Kong, the city’s chief executive, John Lee, told a news conference on Friday. . Instead, they will be required to present a negative COVID-19 result from a rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of boarding.

The measures will come into effect on Monday.

“Although we can control the trend of the epidemic, we must leave maximum room to enable connectivity with the world, so that we can have economic momentum and reduce inconvenience for arriving travelers,” Lee said. , who also said authorities will not. reconsider the measures announced on Friday.

He said there must be a “balance between risk and economic growth”.

From Monday, travelers to Hong Kong will have to undergo three days of home surveillance. If they test negative for COVID-19 after three days, they will be allowed to enter places such as restaurants and bars.

For nearly two years, Hong Kong has required foreign arrivals to the city to serve a mandatory quarantine period in designated hotels. At one point, the city experienced one of the longest quarantine periods in the world with 21 days of mandatory isolation.

The easing of measures comes as Hong Kong prepares to hold several high-profile events, including the Rugby 7s tournament in November and an international banking summit.

Neighboring Taiwan is expected to do the same next month. That leaves mainland China as one of the only places in the world that will still require travelers to self-quarantine upon arrival.

For most of the pandemic, Hong Kong has aligned itself with China’s “zero-COVID” strategy.

For the past two and a half years, Hong Kong authorities have imposed strict social distancing measures and locked down residential buildings with confirmed COVID-19 infections to mass test residents.

Zen Soo, The Associated Press










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