Almost 2.5 years after it was first implemented, Hong Kong will scrap its controversial COVID-19 hotel quarantine policy for all arrivals beginning September 26, a long-awaited move for residents and businesses. Reuters reports that international arrivals will be able to go back home or to accommodation of their choice after entering the Chinese special administrative hub, but must self-monitor for three days.
During a press conference, Chief Executive John Lee said, “We aim for people to have more convenience and they can carry about their activities with maximum possibilities.” For three days, people can report to work or school but cannot enter bars or restaurants. Travelers to Hong Kong will no longer be required to undergo a 48-hour PCR test before flying. Instead, they will undergo a Rapid Antigen Test.
With its “dynamic zero” COVID-19 strategy, the former British colony is the only country outside mainland China to impose hotel quarantine on international arrivals. COVID-19 rules have been criticized by business groups, diplomats, and many residents, who claim they threaten Hong Kong’s competitiveness.