Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor ruled out the possibility of restrictions on international arrivals being relaxed during her term in office, which ends on June 30, 2022. Lam made these remarks in response to frequent calls from the business community to scrap the quarantine requirements for inbound passengers and route-specific flight ban.
Speaking at her weekly press briefing on Tuesday morning, Lam said that the Hong Kong government will continue to monitor overseas arrivals for Covid-19. “It is very unlikely that during my term there will be more relaxations on the border controls. We will still have the hotel quarantine, we will still require vaccination for passengers to board a plane to Hong Kong and we will still impose test-and-hold, whether at the airport or at the hotel for a PCR test in order to keep Hong Kong safe,” she said.
Lam explained that these measures are still in force because imported cases now account for a large share of the city’s daily case count. “The local infections are kept very low now, so the imported cases account for a rather significant share of the total caseload. And on top of that, we are seeing different variants under BA.2,” said the CE.
Hong Kong relaxed its international arrival requirements on May 1 so that non-residents can enter the city as long as they are vaccinated, undergo a PCR and rapid antigen test (RAT) upon arrival at the airport, and stay for at least seven days in a designated quarantine hotel where they will be tested every day for the virus.
In addition, from May 1, incoming flights from certain routes get a five-day ban if they bring a certain number of infected passengers into Hong Kong.
Header image credits: Mk2010 via Wiki Commons