Hong Kong is reducing the time it takes to service hotel quarantines, from seven days to three, starting Friday.
“The seven-day isolation hotel arrangement will be replaced by three days in an isolation hotel, and four days of home medical monitoring,” chief executive John Lee told a press conference on Monday.
After completing hotel quarantine, travelers can stay at home or in a hotel for four days of observation. Lee said in Cantonese that people could leave their residences during this period, but could not enter “places that actively check vaccination passes.”
It includes bars, pubs, gyms and beauty salons. People are also not allowed to visit old age homes, schools and certain medical complexes during the observation period.
“They cannot participate in any activities that require masks to be removed,” Lee added. If they test negative in the rapid antigen test, they can take public transport, go to work and enter shopping malls, he said.
“We need to strike a balance between the level of risk and our economic activities. Where risks can be controlled, we want to protect the maximum mobility of people and maintain Hong Kong’s competitiveness,” Lee said.
Hong Kong has imposed strict border restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid. But Thousands fled the Chinese city as containment measures weighed on residents While the rest of the world is open.
Health Secretary Lo Chung-mao said based on trends in imported cases, 80% of infections are picked up within three days.
“Four extra nights in a quarantine hotel – that’s seven nights in a quarantine hotel – is not cost-effective and will affect Hong Kong’s connectivity with the world,” he told the same press conference.
Airline shares Cathay Pacific Hong Kong rose 2.36% following the announcement.