Hong Kong City leader Mr John Lee is contemplating the idea of shortening the quarantine period and may announce the same by next week. As per South China Morning Post, the officials are Hong Kong is set to shorten the hotel quarantine period for arrivals with an announcement next week at the earliest, the Post has learned, while officials are pondering over the thought of converting makeshift hospitals and isolation facilities for Covid-19 patients for use by mainland China-bound travellers.
Hong Kong had a stringent quarantine process and one of the longest quarantine period i.e. 21 days initially when pandemic broke out in the 2020s. It was reduced to 14 days, and currently it is at 7 days hotel quarantine in the designated hotels specified by Hong Kong government on their official website. The list of designated hotels can be accessed here.
As per the news, the current quarantine could be reduced to “3+4” or “4+3” arrangement on arrival for fully vaccinated overseas travellers.
Further, there could be two color health codes enforced to enforce COVID-19 rules for infected patients along with the “Leave Home Safe” app managed by Hong Kong Govt.
One source on Saturday said the announcement would be made next week at the earliest, possibly on Tuesday.
SCMP further mentioned that Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said the government is in touch with their counterparts across the border, hoping to “minimise the inconvenience of quarantine caused to residents returning to the mainland” after his community visit in Sham Shui Po.
“They suggested using such facilities in preparation for border reopening. We are working hard on it,” Lee said, adding also that authorities were looking into “resuming connection with foreign countries” in a nod to also reopening international borders, but he stopped short of revealing the exact measures.
“Our goal is to let our mainland counterparts understand the local situation. Our target is to control those who have to be isolated through precise methods, so as to let other residents resume their normal activities, while also minimising the risks of transmission.”
There have been severe difficulties faced by travellers to Hong Kong due to unavailability of hotel rooms in designated hotels for the quarantine process.
This would ease the travel process to Hong Kong in future.