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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Business travelers stumped by diverse vaccine rules

Business travelers stumped by diverse vaccine rules

The honorary chairman of the Hong Kong Small and Medium Enterprises Association, Danny Lau, said on Friday the business sector is unsure which coronavirus vaccine to take as different countries currently recognize different inoculation, RTHK reports.
European officials have recently unveiled plans for a "vaccine passport" which would allow anyone vaccinated against the coronavirus disease, or recently recovered from the virus to travel within the EU.

However, the vaccines must be approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

So far, the EMA has not approved the mainland-produced Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines, or Russia’s Sputnik V.

Speaking on an RTHK program, Lau said travel restrictions had severely affected cross-border business activities and he questioned whether those who need to travel to different countries need to receive shots from different manufacturers.

"So if we have to go to three places, do we need to get all three different vaccines? From a medical perspective, can our bodies accept all three vaccines?" he asked.

The businessman said the association's members plan to wait and see whether the World Health Organisation would offer guidelines on vaccine passports.

But tourism sector legislator Yiu Si-wing brushed aside Lau’s concerns, saying he believes the problem will eventually be addressed as many countries are desperate to kickstart their economies.

He added that Hong Kong can start discussing vaccine passports with other countries, saying Singapore will likely be the first country the SAR can resume travel with since the two places had already set up a "travel bubble."

Special flights between Hong Kong and Singapore were originally set to begin last November before a surge in coronavirus infections in Hong Kong forced its indefinite postponement.

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