Government officials in Hong Kong announced it would ease quarantine restrictions for international travelers visiting the region.
According to the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee said the previous seven-day quarantine hotel arrangement would be replaced by three days in a quarantine hotel and four days of home medical surveillance.
During the home medical surveillance, travelers will be able to leave their hotel or resort, but cannot visit “places where there is active checking of vaccine passes,” Lee said. Off-limits establishments include bars, pubs, gyms, beauty parlors and more.
“We have to strike a balance between risk level as well as our economic activity,” Lee continued. “Where risks could be controlled, we want to preserve maximum movement of people and to maintain Hong Kong’s competitiveness.”
Health Secretary Lo Chung-Mau said that around 80 percent of imported coronavirus cases are caught within three days. As a result, an additional four nights in a quarantine hotel is not cost-effective.
Hong Kong imposed strict border controls to keep the COVID-19 pandemic in check, but many restrictive measures that remained in place weighed on residents. Chung-Mau said the outdated protocols “affect Hong Kong’s connection with the world.”
In April, government officials allowed restaurants to operate until 10 p.m. with a maximum of four people per table, while businesses like beauty parlors, gyms, theme parks and cinemas were permitted to reopen at 50 percent capacity.
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