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Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024

HK should prepare for surging visitors from China

HK should prepare for surging visitors from China

Medical experts alerted the government to review Covid-19 tests policy for inbound arrivals from the mainland as border-crossing travel reopens between Hong Kong and China will lead to a streaming number of commuters.
China announced on Monday that it would scrap quarantine for inbound travellers from January 8 and downgraded Covid from a class A infectious disease to Class B, which means the country will end the long-time shut of its borders since 2020.

On Tuesday, Hong Kong health experts showed concern about the potential pressure that would be brought subsequently on the city's epidemic status, calling for more controlling measures for anticipated surging visitor numbers from the mainland.

"Inbound arrivals to Hong Kong from the mainland are currently required to present a negative report of a nucleic acid test within 48 hours prior to entry and undergo one rapid antigen test after entry," said medical lawmaker David Lam Tzit-yuen, "but this is not sufficient."

He said more than one RAT would be needed to detect a potentially large surge in the number of imported cases from China.

"Sooner or later, the mandatory quarantine in designated locations will be withdrawn and lead to increased pressure on the medical system," Lam said.

The upcoming Chinese New Year is bound to bring a great number of people in Hong Kong to the mainland, and the government should be well prepared, noted lawmaker Kingsley Wong Kwok.
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