Hong Kong HONG KONG Hong Kong will reduce the obligatory hotel quarantine period for international guests to three days instead of one week, the city’s chief announced on Monday.
The southern Chinese city is one of the only places worldwide, along with mainland China that needs a quarantine in order to protect against people who spread COVID-19 on the population. The quarantine that will take effect Friday will be the shortest Hong Kong quarantine period since the epidemic started.
Hong Kong leader John Lee stated that travellers arriving in Hong Kong must be quarantined for 3 days at a hotel designated and then undergo the course of four days of health supervision in which their movements are restricted through the utilization of a health-code system.
Lee explained his new rule, which allows only three days of quarantine was established after scientific proof and analysis of data to identify risks.
“We also need to weigh the risks with the economic activity and social life of (people living in) Hong Kong,” Lee added.
“(The information) provides us with evidence that the risk of those who have completed three days of quarantine in the designated hotel … is not more than the risk of transmission in the general population,” he said.
The new COVID-19 policy changes are despite an increase in the number of infections per day that city health officials warn could increase to 8000 in the next few weeks.
During the week of surveillance and quarantine, travellers must take a regular test for COVID-19, and those infected are required to remain in the isolation.
People who are negative for the test can access public transportation and visit markets and malls, however, they aren’t allowed to enter bars or amusement parks. They also can’t visit schools, elderly homes or specific medical establishments.
In the majority of the pandemic, Hong Kong has imposed some of the strictest COVID-19-related entry restrictions. At one time, Hong Kong required up to 21 days of mandatory hotel quarantine for visitors as well as a “circuit breaker” mechanism to stop flights by certain airlines to Hong Kong if they bring in excessive COVID-19 cases.
The measures have ruined the city’s tourism industry and caused disruption to the flow of business travellers in this city that is known as a global financial and business centre.
Since the outbreak began in the early days of the outbreak, hundreds of thousands of people have fled Hong Kong. A lot of companies have moved to countries such as Singapore where travel that is quarantine-free is back.