Hong Kong To Scrap Quarantine Rules For International Arrivals

Hong Kong has announced it will end mandatory hotel quarantine, scrapping some of the world’s toughest travel restrictions, which battered the economy and kept the finance hub internationally isolated.

The long-awaited move brings relief to residents and businesses clamouring for the city to rejoin the rest of the world in resuming unhindered travel.

For the past two and a half years Hong Kong has adhered to a version of China’s strict zero-Covid rules, deepening a brain drain as rivals reopened.

The announcement leaves mainland China as the only major economy still hewing to lengthy quarantine for international arrivals.

Chief Executive John Lee said the current three days of hotel quarantine would be reduced to zero for those arriving from overseas.

From September 26, travellers will be subject to PCR tests on arrival and will be unable to visit restaurants and bars for the first three days under a system authorities have dubbed “0+3”.

“Under this arrangement, the quarantine hotel system will be cancelled,” Lee told reporters.

Overseas arrivals will also need further PCR tests on days two, four and six in the city.

Tourists who test positive face being isolated in hotel rooms at their own expense. Most residents can isolate at home, but those who cannot may be sent to government facilities.

Authorities also said they were lifting quotas on arrivals from mainland China.

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