Hong Kong lifts controversial hotel quarantine policy

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 Hong Kong lifts controversial hotel quarantine policy

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The Hong Kong government says that from Monday, people arriving in Hong Kong will no longer have to undergo mandatory hotel quarantine.

Travelers will also no longer need to show a negative Covid test before boarding a plane to Hong Kong.

Instead, they will monitor for possible contamination for three days.

The news caused a buzz for flights to Hong Kong as the Cathay Pacific website has a queuing system for bookings.

The airline said it added more than 200 flights to both regional and long-haul destinations in October .

“While we will continue to increase the number of flights as quickly as possible, it will take time to gradually restore our capacity,” — the statement says.

Hong Kong has some of the toughest regulations in the world as it follows China's zero Covid policy.

So its departure from what the mainland is doing — a long-awaited decision. Restrictions on the arrival of people have been in place for more than two years.

And there are still rules for travelers. They can't enter common areas like restaurants or malls for the first three days after arrival. They also have to take PCR tests on the second, fourth, sixth day.

However, the long-term border closure has hit Hong Kong's economy hard and put the Asian financial center at a disadvantage compared to rivals in the region such as Singapore.

Singapore ousted the city on Friday Asia's top financial market in the Global Financial Centers Index.

“Hong Kong has been isolated from the international community for two and a half years and is suffering from it,” — Hao Hong, chief economist at Grow Investment Group, told the BBC. – "Although the end of quarantine in hotels — this is a step forward, restoring confidence takes time, especially amid the wave of talent exodus from Hong Kong.”

said Louis Cuis, chief economist at S&P Global Ratings for Asia-Pacific.

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