Hong Kong will drop a mandate that requires people to scan the LeaveHomeSafe QR code when entering venues, chief executive John Lee Ka-chiu said on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the city will also lift restrictions on arrivals, putting an end to the “0+3” scheme by scrapping an amber health code that restricts arrivals who tested negative for the coronavirus
from entering premises such as restaurants on their first three days in the city.
Announcing the changes at a news conference ahead of his weekly executive council meeting, Lee said the new measures will kick in on Wednesday.
Under the new measures, people would not need to scan QR codes with their LeaveHomeSafe app to record visits to premises, but restaurant patrons and entrants to designated venues still need to present their vaccination records.
The Hong Kong leader said the decisions made were based on scientific data and risk evaluation.
“The infection risk from imported cases is lower than the risk from local infections. We believe that the lifting [of the measures] will not increase the risk of local outbreaks,” Lee said.
Meanwhile, commenting on resuming quarantine-free travel with the mainland, Lee said he hopes this can happen as soon as possible.
“I take this close to my heart, and I’ll do everything that can facilitate it. But we also must be aware that decisions made are similarly based on the actual situation, and also data, and risk assessment in cities in the mainland. This is a process I went through, and this is a process that I will, of course, give all my assistance to facilitate going through,” he said.
“All people want to have less restrictions…while ensuring activities, socially and economically, can proceed as much as possible.”
He added that health chief Lo Chung-mau will give people a more detailed account of the new measures during a press conference this afternoon.