Travellers wait for the Hong Kong immigration desks to open before crossing the border to China at Lok Ma Chau MTR station, in Hong Kong, China, 08 January 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/JEROME FAVRE

Hong Kong to scrap mandatory isolation for Covid patients

Beijing, Jan 19 (EFE).- Covid-19 patients in Hong Kong will no longer be required to isolate from Jan. 30, the city’s chief executive, John Lee said Thursday, thereby scrapping a rule that had been in effect for almost three years.

Currently, those infected by the disease have to undergo a five-day isolation at home or in government facilities.

“We have opened our borders [with the mainland] for over 10 days. The risk of infection has not been increased. The epidemic situation has been alleviating,” Lee said at a question and answer session at the Legislative Council, public broadcaster RTHK reported.

Lee added that it was time for the government to change its approach towards Covid-19 by replacing mandatory measures with voluntary ones.

The chief executive said that there was a 90% decline in cases from a recent peak

He cited the 90 percent decline in cases from the 30,000 daily infections recorded during a recent peak and said that the people’s immunity had increased due to the city’s high vaccination rate.

In mid-December, Hong Kong announced the withdrawal of the mandatory three-day quarantine for overseas visitors.
It had scrapped hotel quarantines for travelers in September.

However, masks are still mandatory in public places.

Since the start of the pandemic, Hong Kong has imposed strict border controls under a zero-tolerance policy toward Covid-19 similar to the one in place in mainland China until only a few weeks ago. EFE