Covid-19: Hong Kong cuts hotel quarantine to 3 days for arrivals
Hong Kong’s leader said Monday (August 8), the mandatory hotel quarantine for overseas arrivals to three days from a week will be reduced in the city.
The southern Chinese city, according to the Associated Press, remains one of the few places in the world, together with mainland China, to require a quarantine to guard against travelers spreading COVID-19 to the local population.
The policy taking effect Friday will be Hong Kong’s shortest quarantine for arrivals since the pandemic began, it said.
Hong Kong leader John Lee said arriving travelers must quarantine three days in a designated hotel, then undergo four days of medical surveillance during which their movements will be restricted via the use of a health code system.
Lee said that the new policy of just three days in quarantine was made after scientific evidence and data had been analyzed to control the risk factors.
He said: “We also have to balance the risks against the economic activities and the social lives of (people in) Hong Kong.”
“(The data) gives us the indication that the risk factor of people who have finished three days quarantine in a designated hotel ... is actually no more than the risk level of transmission in society,” he said.
During their week of quarantine and surveillance, travelers will also have to test regularly for COVID-19 and those who are infected must stay in isolation.
Those who test negative can use public transit and enter malls and markets, but they can’t enter bars and amusement parks or visit elderly homes, schools and certain medical facilities.
It is worthy to note that the changes to COVID-19 policies come in spite of an increase in daily infections, which city health officials warn could double to 8,000 in the coming weeks.