Hong Kong will scrap its controversial quarantine for arrivals from next week, bowing to mounting pressure to end more than two and a half years of isolation that has hammered the economy and driven talent out of the financial hub.
The Chinese territory will resume quarantine-free entry from Monday, Hong Kong’s leader John Lee announced at a press conference on Friday.
“We must allow connectivity with the rest of the world so we can have economic momentum,” Lee said, while insisting the city must not “lie flat” against the coronavirus.
Travellers to the city currently must undergo three days of hotel quarantine followed by four days of medical surveillance, during which they are restricted from entering certain venues including bars and restaurants.
Under the new arrangements, arrivals will still be required to undergo three days of medical surveillance that will be lifted following a negative COVID test result, dampening prospects of a sharp rebound in tourism. Travellers will also be required to take a COVID PCR test upon landing followed by three subsequent tests in the days following their arrival.