Hong Kong reopens to international visitors this weekend – with strings attached

On Sunday, Hong Kong will reopen its borders to worldwide guests for the primary time in additional than two years.

The Particular Administrative Area, as soon as a thrumming hub of worldwide enterprise, has been largely closed to non-residents for the reason that early days of the pandemic.

On Friday, the Hong Kong authorities confirmed in an announcement that totally vaccinated non-residents shall be allowed in from midnight on 1 Might, with eased quarantine and testing guidelines.

Worldwide arrivals from international locations together with the UK should guide a quarantine resort, take a PCR check throughout the 48 hours earlier than departure to Hong Kong and take a fast antigen check on arrival in its “Take a look at and Maintain” system – whether it is unfavorable, they are going to switch to a quarantine resort for a shortened seven-day interval.

It’s the first time non-residents may have been allowed into the nation since 25 March 2020.

It is usually enjoyable guidelines barely on its “flight ban coverage”, which in the meanwhile bans worldwide flight routes for seven days if a complete of three passengers from a flight on that route check constructive for Covid on arrival.

From 1 Might, this shall be elevated to 5 passengers testing constructive, and ensuing bans decreased to 5 days lengthy.

The flight ban coverage has made it difficult to plan journeys to Hong Kong, with the chance of an airline’s route being suspended a looming actuality.

Greater than 10 routes are presently suspended, that means cancelled flights for the likes of Cathay Pacific, Emirates and Qatar Airways.

Earlier at the moment, chief government Carrie Lam stated that Hong Kong will loosen up some social distancing measures in Might until a sudden surge in circumstances happens.

“It’s gratifying to know that after greater than three months for the reason that fifth wave of Covid-19 hit us, and hit us onerous, in Hong Kong, we’re on the trail to resuming regular actions,” she stated in a TV broadcast.

“So far as the social distancing measures are involved, we’ll proceed to press forward with the three phases of rest that I introduced on 21 March, until there’s a sudden surge in Covid-19 an infection circumstances, however that appears fairly unlikely primarily based on our observations and the consultants’ recommendation due to the excessive stage of hybrid immunity that Hong Kong has achieved.

“We’ve got successfully and efficiently rolled out the primary stage and I seen that many Hong Kong folks and plenty of restaurant operators are very pleased with this primary stage of rest. The second stage is meant to happen a few month from the primary section, that’s, possibly the second half of Might.”

The area resumed worldwide flights from 9 international locations together with the UK, US and Australia on 1 April, with Friday’s authorities assertion attributing the change of guidelines for non-residents to the success of this measure.

“Though there was a rise within the day by day variety of inbound arrivals since 1 April as a result of lifting of place-specific flight suspension for 9 abroad locations (from a day by day common of fewer than 300 inbound arrivals from January to March, to a day by day common of about 1,200 inbound arrivals since 1 April), the proportion of imported circumstances has really decreased fairly than elevated (from about 3 per cent in January to March to about 1 per cent since 1 April),” stated the federal government assertion.

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