Hong Kong to end mandatory hotel quarantine for travelers

HONG KONG — Hong Kong’s chief introduced town would not require incoming travelers to quarantine in designated lodges as town seeks to open up globally after practically two years.

Incoming travelers can even not want a unfavorable PCR take a look at inside 48 hours earlier than boarding a aircraft to Hong Kong, town’s chief government John Lee mentioned Friday at a information convention. Instead, they’ll want to current a unfavorable COVID-19 end result from a speedy antigen take a look at carried out inside 24 hours earlier than boarding the flight.

The measures will come into impact Monday.

“While we can control the trend of the epidemic, we must allow the maximum room to allow connectivity with the world, so that we can have economic momentum and to reduce inconvenience to arriving travelers,” mentioned Lee, who additionally mentioned that authorities won’t roll again the measures introduced Friday.

He mentioned that there have to be a “balance between risks and economic growth.”

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

For nearly two years, Hong Kong required overseas arrivals in the city to serve a period of mandatory quarantine in designated hotels. At one point, the city had among the world’s longest quarantine periods at 21 days of mandatory isolation.

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

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

Hong Kong has for most of the pandemic aligned with China’s “zero-COVID” technique.

Over the previous 2 1/2 years, Hong Kong authorities have imposed strict social distancing measures and locked down residential buildings with confirmed COVID-19 infections to mass-test residents.

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