Hong Kong Mulls Lifting Quarantine for Mainland Visitors
What’s new: Hong Kong is proposing to lift the mandatory quarantine for local residents returning from the Chinese mainland after the third wave of Covid-19 is under control.
Discussions are in the final stage to reopen cross-border travel between Hong Kong and the mainland and Macau, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Tuesday.
Hong Kong confirmed four new Covid-19 cases Tuesday, all imported. It was the second time the city reported no local cases in the previous week. The number of patients has significantly declined in recent weeks. A total of 136 confirmed patients remain hospitalized, while more than 4,800 have been released from hospitals, health authorities said.
The background: All but three of the city’s border checkpoints have been closed since February. Visitors from the Chinese mainland, Taiwan and Macau must undergo 14 days of compulsory quarantine in a hotel or at home upon arrival in Hong Kong.
Macau and Guangdong province also require people entering from Hong Kong to be quarantined for 14 days. The restrictions have resulted a sharp decline in travelers from the Chinese mainland, who made up most of the tourists to the city before the pandemic.
In the first eight months this year, inbound travelers from the mainland fell more than 90% year-on-year.
Since Sept. 23, mainland visitors with a negative Covid-19 test have been allowed to enter Macau without mandatory quarantine.
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