Hong Kong is really considering cutting quarantine for travelers

Hong Kong is really considering cutting quarantine for travelers
FILE PHOTO: A police officer keeps watch at the Soho nightlife area to remind people of social distancing amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, May 20, 2022. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo

Hong Kong is currently seeing around 4,000 new COVID cases daily, with nearly 200 of them being imported as the city tries to stamp out any trace of the virus in line with its zero-COVID policy. The thing is, though, in trying to achieve that zero-COVID status, the region has become virtually isolated, leading to an exodus of residents, especially expats. With a new government in place and the fifth wave over, there has been a push to ease some COVID rules, such as the seven-day mandatory hotel quarantine, to make traveling to the city easier.

With that, citing an anonymous source, Sing Tao said the government is considering cutting the requirements to either five or four days of hotel quarantine followed by two or three days whereby that person can’t go to high-risk places where masks may be removed. SCMP said that authorities might even shorten the mandatory hotel quarantine to three days. Sing Tao said that the government is expected to announce its decision in the next two weeks and is also working on fine-tuning the China-style health code across the city. Chances are, once the health code has been finalized, hotel quarantine will also ease.

Key comments:

“The source said that the Hong Kong government intends to launch the ‘red and yellow codes’ simultaneously with the relaxation of hotel quarantine time for inbound travelers. At present, the Hong Kong government is considering two relaxation plans, namely the five-day hotel quarantine and the two-day yellow code ‘five plus two.’ The plan, as well as the ‘four plus three’ plan for the four-day hotel quarantine and the three-day yellow code, will be finalized by the top government officials,” wrote Sing Tao.