Hong Kong eases limits on incoming travellers, eliminates COVID app

Hong Kong eases limits on incoming travellers, eliminates COVID app

Hong Kong eases limits on incoming travellers, eliminates COVID app

HONG KONG, Dec 13 (Reuters) – Hong Kong said on Wednesday international passengers arriving in the territory would no longer be subject to COVID-19 movement checks or barred from certain venues, and it was also eliminating a mandatory mobile application for the COVID-19 .

News of further easing of COVID-19 limits in the global financial hub, which has led most of the world to ease them, could help the recovery of travel and business.

An amber code issued to international arrivals for the first three days in Hong Kong meant they could not eat or drink inside bars and restaurants.

From Wednesday, travelers and all residents from overseas will be able to enter all locations as long as they test negative for COVID-19 upon arrival, Chief Executive John Lee said in a televised briefing on Tuesday.

They will still have to show a photograph or paper record of their COVID-19 vaccines in some places that require it, Health Secretary Lo Chung-mau said at a news conference, but arrivals are not restricted on travel.

“After arriving in Hong Kong, international arrivals have no restrictions. So the same day they get off the plane, they are free to enter any venue,” Health Secretary Lo Chung-mau said at a later conference. press.

The government’s move to scrap its mobility-tracking app, which grants access to restaurants and places like gyms, clubs and lounges, comes after mainland China dropped the requirement.

Business groups, diplomats and many residents had criticized Hong Kong’s COVID-19 rules, saying they threatened its competitiveness and position as an international financial centre.

The rules have weighed on Hong Kong’s economy since early 2020, accelerating an exodus of local businesses, expats and families who have departed amid Beijing’s push to more closely control the former British colony.

Hong Kong has closely followed China’s zero-COVID policy since 2020, but began gradually easing restrictions in August, reducing the mandatory hotel quarantine to three days before eliminating it completely in September, more than 2.5 years after the appearance of the virus.

Code amber was the last remaining restriction on arrivals, who will still be subject to a mandatory COVID PCR test on arrival and another after.

Masks are still mandatory throughout the city, unless practicing. Group gatherings of more than 12 people are prohibited, but people can still go to nightclubs and attend banquets where hundreds of people are present.

Health Secretary Lo added that infected patients who self-isolate at home will no longer be required to wear an electronic tag restricting them to their residence.

Reporting by Farah Master, Clare Jim and Tunnie Siu and Jessie Pang; Editing by Clarence Fernandez, Tom Hogue, Gerry Doyle and Simon Cameron-Moore

Our standards: the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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