The Hong Kong government will reportedly announce a shortened hotel quarantine requirement for international arrivals as early as next week, according to a report from the South China Morning Post. The two-colour health code is also set to be launched when the new quarantine measures come into effect.
At present, overseas travellers must stay at a designated quarantine hotel (DQH) for a minimum of seven days after they arrive in Hong Kong. In an interview with Now TV, Secretary for Health Lo Chung-Mau confirmed that authorities are reportedly considering changing this to a week-long split-quarantine arrangement, by which international arrivals will spend a minimum of five days of their isolation period at a DQH and the remaining days at home.
The health code will be combined with the vaccine pass system on the LeaveHomeSafe app. It will be issued to two categories of people in Hong Kong, the first being international arrivals undergoing home quarantine. They will get a yellow code that will prevent them from entering “high-risk areas”, such as restaurants and bars.
People who have contracted Covid-19 within the city and are approved for home isolation will get a red code, in addition to the electronic tracking wristband they must currently wear to prevent them from leaving their homes during this period.
This development comes after the Secretary for Health’s recent comments about the possibility of quarantine-free travel for international arrivals into Hong Kong by November 2022, and the recent suspension of the five-day flight ban on airlines that brought a certain number of Covid-positive passengers into the city.
However, there have been no changes to the city’s current social distancing rules, which include various restrictions on dining and nightlife establishments, such as seating and capacity limits, a ban on live performances and dancing, and regulations regarding opening hours.
According to the SCMP report, Hong Kong is also mulling turning some of the city’s temporary Covid-19 hospitals into isolation facilities for travellers to undergo quarantine before they enter the Mainland. The move is being considered because of the shortage of quarantine hotels on the other side of the border.
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