HONG KONG: Hong Kong will scrap its mandatory hotel quarantine next week, the government said Friday, as the business hub opens up after more than two years of isolation from the rest of the world.
Incoming travellers will still need to take a rapid antigen test before flying under the new rules, which come into effect on Monday. The city currently has a three-day hotel quarantine for arrivals who are then required to undergo four subsequent days of restrictions that ban eating in restaurants.
“We need to be given room to connect with the whole world, so that our society can be given the greatest economic momentum,” Hong Kong’s chief executive John Lee told reporters. “We need to reduce the inconvenience for people coming here and hope we don’t have to go back to before.”
Hong Kong’s decision to forego most restrictions on visitors comes after a failed bid to reconnect the city with mainland China, which has kept its strict zero-Covid policy in place even as most of the world drops curbs.
But Beijing on Monday signalled that it would support Hong Kong’s decision to end its hotel quarantine, which was once three weeks, despite city officials earlier insisting on first opening up links to tech and factory hub Shenzhen.
Japan and Taiwan said this week they would end most travel restrictions for visitors by mid-October, including a mandatory quarantine.
Hong Kong’s economic growth has stalled after the economy shrunk by 1.4% in the second quarter, stirring fears of a recession with the government slashing its full-year growth forecast to no more than 0.5%.
Last year, just 91,400 people arrived in Hong Kong, a tiny fraction of the nearly 56 million visitors in 2019.
Officials are hoping that quarantine-free travel will attract visitors to the iconic Rugby Sevens tournament and a banking summit in November. Hong Kong is also hosting a fintech conference at the end of October.
Meanwhile, major sporting events in Hong Kong have been cancelled or moved overseas in light of the uncertainty and current pandemic measures.
Regional rival hub Singapore resumed quarantine-free travel earlier this year and will host CEOs, investors and fund managers this month for a slew of major events and industry conferences.
The city-state topped Hong Kong by moving into third place in this year’s Global Financial Centre Index released Thursday, after making aggressive strides to attract financial talent bleeding from Hong Kong.
kontraktor rumah, bina rumah, pinjaman lppsa, pengeluaran kwsp, spesifikasi rumah, rumah ibs, pelan rumah, rekabentuk rumah, bina rumah atas tanah sendiri, kontraktor rumah selangor, rumah banglo