Hong Kong, which had draconian quarantine rules for travelers, has reduced its mandatory quarantine period to two weeks from three weeks. This news comes even as HK suffers from the rising number of covid-19 cases, which involves Delta and Omicron cases.
Like mainland China, Hong Kong is still pursuing a zero-tolerance covid policy.
With the emergence of the Omicron variant, HK imposed strict travel restrictions in December, where it shut down its borders from eight countries and even banned transit passengers from 150 countries. However, recently Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam stated that starting February 05, the three-week mandatory quarantine period will be reduced to two weeks for all arrivals.
The leader also added that all travelers entering Hong Kong should undergo mandatory quarantine in designated hotels and seven days of self-monitoring at home. Furthermore, all arrivals will be allowed to leave their homes during the final days but must undergo a Covid test twice.
Reports also suggested that the Ban on travelers from eight countries- Canada, Australia, France, Pakistan, India, the Philippines, the United States, and the United Kingdom—will continue for another two weeks until February 18. This new rule comes as the city gears up for the Lunar Year celebration.
The leader also urged citizens to stay at home, avoid family gatherings and join hands together to fight against the virus. She added that Hong Kong’s mandatory three-week quarantine is one of the world’s longest and has been subject to a barrage of complaints from the international business community. She stated that the policy change was ‘purely based on science’ due to Omicron’s shorter incubation period.