Hong Kong mulls shorter quarantine

HONG KONG, 22 June 2021: Hong Kong is poised to reduce its quarantine from 21 to seven days for fully vaccinated travellers from Singapore, the UK, the South China Morning Post reported on Monday.

According to the report, vaccinated travellers will need to test positive for coronavirus antibodies, which would represent a significant easing of entry rules. Hong Kong currently has one of the longest quarantine set at 21 days in assigned hotel accommodation paid for by the traveller.

According to media reports, Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam was due to address a press conference Monday afternoon to provide more details.

First reported by Bloomberg, the proposed seven-day quarantine would be applicable to residents, including work-visa holders, returning from countries classified in high-risk Group B and medium-risk Group C under its five-tier system for assessing the overseas Covid-19 threat.

Bloomberg said authorities were trialling various antibody tests – which are meant to confirm that a person has been vaccinated or has recovered from Covid-19. Introducing the shorter quarantine depends on when the testing facilities can be fully operational.

On Sunday, Hong Kong reported a new imported Covid case of a 36-year-old man who arrived from Russia. A total of 34 cases were reported in Hong Kong in the past 14 days, including two local cases. The vaccine drive is showing signs of speeding up after a slow start. As of 20 June, 3.2 million doses have been administered.