Hong Kong is reported to be preparing to scrap its tough Covid-19 hotel quarantine policy for all arrivals from early October, a ;local news portal reported late last week, citing unidentified sources.
Hong Kong’s leader John Lee said last week he wanted to keep the city connected with the rest of the world and allow an “orderly opening-up”. However he did not specify exactly when the quarantine policy would be changed.
Hong Kong is one of the few places in the world to still require travellers from abroad to quarantine upon arrival, although the length of necessary quarantine has eased over time.
While Mr Lee will be aware that Hong Kong residents and businesses have universally criticized the policy, claiming that the policy was serving to damage, possibly permanently, Hong Kong’s local competitiveness and standing as a global financial centre, he will also be aware of China’s continuing tough zero-Covid policy, and can do little more than indicate to Beijing that Hong Kong is suffering by being too closely allied to the Chinese policy.
Currently, arrivals must pay for three days in a hotel and follow that with four days of self-monitoring. The new rules will abolish the need for arrivals from overseas to do quarantine at designated hotels. Residents will be able to go straight home and self monitor for seven days, the local news report said.
Currently people who are required to self monitor are allowed to move around the city although there are some limits on the types of places they can access.
Hong Kong still bans public groups of more than four people and masks are mandatory.