Health Minister: Hong Kong may allow travel without quarantine by November

Travelers to Hong Kong could be allowed to skip the Covid-19 quarantine – but with certain conditions attached – by November, according to an exclusive interview. South China Morning Newspaper With the city’s Secretary of Health, Lu Zhong Mao.

In the interview, published on Wednesday, Low said Hong Kong may choose a different approach to reduce the risk of virus importation by incoming travelers by November, which could include PCR checks and bans on entry to high-risk places such as bars. .

“Is there nothing more needed? I think that would be a little difficult. At least a PCR test is needed. But should quarantine be limited to a fixed place? … Could it be a medical monitor, plus a yellow icon and not showing up in a bar for the first few days? I wouldn’t rule it out. The newspaper quoted Lu as saying.

Visitors to Hong Kong are currently required to self-quarantine for seven days in hotels, at their own expense, and face six rounds of PCR testing before and after arrival.

Strict rules have caused an exodus of migrant workers, especially in the financial realm, raising fears that the city is losing its global financial center more than two years after closing borders.

But it plans to attract international companies again with a major conference of global financiers and top bankers on November 1 and 2, organized by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

During the interview, Lu . said SCMP That Beijing would not “blindly ask Hong Kong to follow its policies,” is an example of how the city’s “one country, two systems” principle can be applied, adding, “This should please all our foreign businesses.”

The health chief also revealed predictions of a rebound in the province’s recent coronavirus cases and a peak in September with up to 10,000 patients requiring hospital treatment, but vowed not to let the situation get out of hand.

Lu, a liver transplant expert and former CEO of the University Hospital of Hong Kong and Shenzhen, has implemented a slew of policy reforms since taking over the health bureau on July 1.

One of those changes was last week’s suspension of the controversial Covid-19 no-fly policy that banned airlines from traveling a particular route for five days if at least five passengers or five per cent of the total number of passengers on board (whichever is higher) was made. Tested positive upon arrival.

However, incoming travelers are now required to undergo an additional PCR test on the third day after their arrival.

The city has seen a spike in Covid-19 cases recently, with 2,000 to 3,000 new infections reported daily.

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