John Lee, the leader of one of Asia’s most beloved and popular cities, Hong Kong, made a statement about shortening the hotel quarantine period for new arrivals during a press conference on Monday, 8th August 2022.
The Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China is all set to shorten the COVID-19 hotel quarantine period to 3 days from 7 days for all arrivals. This will be a new step towards gradually easing strict pandemic rules.
It has been reported that this decision will be put into action from Friday, 12th August 2022. The announcement was made by John Lee during the press conference.
However, this rule has some added guidelines for travellers to follow alongside it. For instance, new arrivals will need to self-monitor for an additional four days. During this time, they are not permitted to enter places with large gatherings, such as restaurants and bars.
Lee further added, “We need to balance between people’s livelihood and the competitiveness of Hong Kong to give the community maximum momentum and economic vitality”.
Reportedly, people in quarantine will be issued a red code on a government-mandated app. This red code will turn yellow once the quarantine period is over. This yellow code signifies that those people should not be allowed to enter crowded premises.
Previously, it was established that the quarantine period will continue for as long as three weeks. This was later eased up and restated as at least a week of hotel quarantine, followed by frequent testing orders and filling out multiple forms.
Currently, the number of hotels available for quarantine is very limited. The ones that are available can have very high costs and can be booked out months in advance. Payments for these hotels are made upfront with no scope for refunds unless a change takes place in government policy or in the event of flight cancellations.
The city borders have been denying access since 2020, remaining almost completely concealed from the world. Stringent quarantine and testing protocols were in place for international arrivals. Hong Kong is one of the very few places in the world that still imposes quarantine protocols for arrivals, be they domestic or international.