Hong Kong will prioritize quarantine-free travel for businessmen when its border with China reopens, chief executive Carrie Lam said, warning that the city’s vaccination rate could hamper a wider deployment.
“If we cannot increase our vaccination rate, it will be an obstacle to expanding our plan to reopen the borders,” Lam said during a regular press briefing on Tuesday.
According to Bloomberg’s Covid-19 Vaccine Tracker, only 61% of the city’s residents have been fully vaccinated, far behind Singapore’s 88%.
The government is working to set quotas for businessmen in different sectors to prepare for what central authorities confirm when non-quarantine travel can resume, Lam said.
âAs an economic hub, we must prioritize the travel of those who need to enter China on business,â she said, adding that the government would also like to have quotas for members of the public not involved in the process. commercial or government activities.
Lam did not specify the size of the overall quota.
Chief Secretary John Lee said last month that Hong Kong had met the basic conditions to restart cross-border travel, after city officials pledged to introduce a continental-style Hong Kong health code that will be launched this week.
City officials have held at least two meetings with mainland officials over the reopening of the border, and a Chinese delegation inspected the city’s measures in the event of a pandemic.
These signs indicate that after nearly two years of virtual isolation, travelers from Hong Kong could finally travel without quarantine to mainland China – one of the few places in the world to cling to a zero Covid policy.
But any changes to Hong Kong’s quarantine requirements for travelers from other destinations are likely expected in at least six months.
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