Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development says there is room for further relaxation of quarantine measures for overseas arrivals if COVID-19 cases continue to decline

Algernon Yau Ying-wah

20th August 2022 – (Hong Kong) The government has gradually loosened the anti-epidemic measures. It recently relaxed the quarantine measures for arrivals from overseas and Taiwan.

The quarantine arrangements for persons arriving from overseas and Taiwan have changed from 7-day hotel quarantine to a new “3+4” arrangement, that is, 3 nights at designated quarantine hotels and 4 nights of home medical surveillance. Many are still hoping that the quarantine measures will be further relaxed.

The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Algernon Yau Ying-wah said during a radio program today (20th) that relevant policies should be pragmatic and balanced, and should be supported by science.

As for the current “3+4” arrangement for quarantine on arrival in Hong Kong, Yau pointed out that there has been an increase in the number of people coming to Hong Kong, but the arrangement has only been implemented for about a week. There is no actual data generated as of now, hence, it will take time to review. If the number of COVID-19 cases continue to decline, he believes there is room for further relaxation of quarantine measures.

For those in the exhibition industry who request the requirements for persons with “Amber Code” to enter exhibition venue, Yau said that the government has a team that is studying the plan to see if there is any possibility of adjustment. The Commerce and Economic Affairs Bureau hopes to have enough data to make an appropriate decision. At present, only staff with “Amber Code” are allowed to enter exhibition venue.

Hong Kong will hold a large-scale financial summit and the World Rugby Sevens in November, which will be an opportunity to re-show Hong Kong as an international city to the world. Some reports describe this milestone as the ultimate deadline in opening up to the world. At that time, entry restrictions must be relaxed.

In early June this year, Eddie Yue, the chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) said that he has personally invited more than 100 of top bankers, fund managers and financial executives to a summit scheduled to be held on 1st and 2nd November this year. Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Goldman Sachs, UBS etc are all on the list.

However, recently, some of the top bankers have indicated that they do not want to be entangled in any form of quarantine measures when they arrive in Hong Kong. Their wishes have been relayed to the health bureau but it is unknown if the Secretary for Health, Professor Lo Chung-mau will accede to their requests