Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee said that the government is “actively considering” new arrangements for international travellers, including possibly scrapping the city’s current quarantine and pre-departure PCR testing requirements.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, the CE said that the government takes a “positive view of the declining trend of confirmed [Covid-19] cases” in the community. He added that the various departments involved in making any changes to the current measures are studying the room they have to relax them.
“The government’s position is very clear. While we will do our best to control the epidemic, we aim to have the maximum connection with the international world and also to reduce the inconvenience to people who arrive at Hong Kong. That is a very clear goal and that goal I am maintaining in one direction, and [we are] trying our best to ensure we don’t roll back any measures,” said Lee, adding that the authorities will make an announcement when they reach a decision about any new measures.
The CE’s remarks come after iconic events like the Hong Kong Marathon was cancelled, and the World Dragonboat Racing Championships 2023 was moved to Thailand from the SAR due to the city’s prevailing anti-epidemic measures, which include restrictions on inbound travellers and limits on crowd capacity at large-scale events.
Under Hong Kong’s current quarantine restrictions, all arrivals into the city spent the first three days in a designated quarantine hotel and the following four days under medical surveillance. They must also show proof of a negative PCR test result taken within 48 hours of their planned arrival in the SAR, or a negative RAT result within the past 24 hours if they recovered from the virus within the past three months.
Header image credits: YY via Flickr