27th September 2022 – (Hong Kong) It was the first day of the implementation of “0+3” measure for overseas arrivals yesterday. Chief Executive John Lee said in a press conference held before the Executive Council meeting this morning that the implementation of the new arrangement was smooth. There were many warm and joyful scenes at the airport.
He mentioned that the overall society has responded positively to the “0+3” quarantine measure, and daily activities and economic sentiment are gradually increasing, but at the same time, he reminds everyone to be cautious, because “0+3” measure basically requires only self-monitoring at home which involves major changes. Hence, it is important to ensure that the epidemic can be managed and controlled, and that the medical system in Hong Kong can cope. He criticised those with “red codes” for going out and failing to carry out compulsory testing as required. He hoped that everyone would abide by the epidemic prevention measures. Otherwise, if there are more people who don’t follow the rules, it will not be easy for the government to consider new considerations in relaxing the measures.
In addition, the Hong Kong government pointed out that it is unacceptable to discover more than 20,000 “counterfeit vaccination records” and the online platform also detected fake rapid antigen test results. Lee condemned those who violated the anti-epidemic regulations.
A reporter asked whether the government is concerned with the outflow of consumption power since citizens have rushed to travel abroad after the launch of “0+3” measure. Lee responded that the purpose of launching “0+3” measure is to maximise the economic activities and people’s livelihood. He pointed out that some industries may benefit immediately from the new change, such as aviation, tourism, etc. However, he stressed that the government has a positive attitude towards this new move. He believes that after the launch of “0+3” measure, exhibition organisers and business visitors will return to Hong Kong, which can be reflected in other industries. In line with expectations, the authorities will gradually relax according to the situation.
In terms of vaccination, the Hong Kong government pointed out that the overall vaccination rate of children is still not ideal and needs to be improved. In terms of handling the epidemic, the Hong Kong government pointed out that 20% of the public medical system is still affected by the epidemic. With regards to management, it is necessary to balance the economic momentum while fighting the COVID-19 epidemic steadily and to react to situation if changes needed.
The Hong Kong government pointed out that it is observing whether the epidemic is in line with expectations and whether the rebound in cases can be controlled. It hopes that more leeway will be given to other activities, but it emphasised that any new measures must be carefully considered. The Hong Kong government also reminded the public to be cautious after cancelling hotel quarantine as the changes may bring forward many unstable factors. In the future, the government needs to observe whether arrivals comply with virus testings, so that it can know that the epidemic will not spread. Violations have affected the new “0+3” measure and even further relaxation of social distancing measures. For example, about 40 people with red codes were found to have left their isolation locations. There were also about 8 to 9% of the people who violated the compulsory testing and more than 1,000 people were found to have violated the compulsory testing orders during enforcement actions.
Lastly, with regards to the recent child abuse case in Po Leung Kuk, Lee pointed out that the government will investigate the incident, and that the relevant laws are undergoing revision procedures, during which the inspection and random checks will be intensified.