Hong Kong’s stringent COVID-19 regulations will be canceled starting Thursday. This means that all arrivals to the city will not need to undergo mandatory PCR testing and will also have their vaccine pass rescinded.
Lee stated that all measures will be canceled except for the compulsory wearing of masks on Thursday.
Lee stated that the city had reached an “anti-epidemic barrier” because of its high vaccination rates.
He said that Hong Kong is equipped with enough medicine to combat COVID and that healthcare workers are well-versed in dealing with the epidemic.
Lee stated that his government aims to reopen borders with China’s mainland by January 15, and is working closely with border authorities to make sure it happens in a timely manner.
According to him, authorities were preparing for the removal of any restrictions.
Lee stated, “The right time for us to accomplish this is now. We have been preparing for this for six months.” The whole of society has been preparing. All of this is in response to the local epidemic situation.
The requirement for vaccination passes in Hong Kong will be lifted from Thursday. It was originally imposed in February. From Thursday, social distancing rules like a limit on the number of people who gather in public for more than twelve persons will be removed.
For nearly three years, the city has largely followed China in fighting the novel coronavirus. Both places are the last to adopt a zero COVID policy.
It is likely that the removal of curbs will result in increased travel to former British colonies by people who previously avoided it because of strict restrictions.
China abruptly changed its policy and began to dismantle the strictest COVID system of lockdowns, extensive testing, and other restrictions. According to authorities, the country won’t require inbound travelers to enter quarantine starting Jan. 8.
In early 2020, travel restrictions were placed between Hong Kong island and the mainland. Due to the outbreaks on either the mainland or Hong Kong, several delays were made in the reopening of ports.
The government declared in December that international passengers who arrive in Hong Kong after mid-month will no longer be subject to COVID movement restrictions or banned from some venues.
Many residents, diplomats, and business groups have criticized Hong Kong’s COVID-19 regulations, saying that they threaten its international standing and competitiveness.
Since early 2020, the rules have had a negative impact on Hong Kong’s economic performance. This has accelerated an exodus from businesses, expatriates, and families who have fled amid Beijing’s drive to tighten control over the former British colony.