Hong Kong to allow non-residents to enter for first time in two years
Authorities have said that people who do not have official residency in Hong Kong will now be granted entry – although they will still need to spend a week in a designated quarantine hotel, be fully vaccinated and return a negative test both before they leave and on arrival at the airport.
The move is the latest in a number of lockdown-easing measures as infections fall. Hong Kong, which on Friday reported 574 new cases and 15 deaths due to Covid, has been struggling with the Omicron wave. Fewer people were vaccinated in Hong Kong than the UK, due to low levels of the virus throughout much of the pandemic. Overall, it is believed that around 1.2m people were infected with the virus, out of a city of 7.4m.
Some senior school students sat national exams this week, ahead of a resumption of face-to-face classes on 3 May after weeks of home learning.
Hong Kong said it will also reduce the number of days flights can be banned from a country with a high number of imported Covid infections. From 1 May, a five-day route ban will be triggered if at least five passengers or five per cent of travellers – whichever is higher – test positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Hong Kong.
“Although daily passenger arrivals have increased since April 1, when the government lifted the flight bans from nine overseas regions, the ratio of imported case has dropped instead of risen,” a statement said.