Hong Kong should follow China to relax Covid curbs further, said lawmaker Doreen Kong Yuk-foon, citing the mainland has downgraded the disease control level of Covid-19.
China announced on Monday that it will downgrade the management of the disease from Class A to Class B from January 8, which means quarantine measures against people infected with Covid
will be dropped and "close contact" will not be identified.
"On this basis, Hong Kong should accordingly scrap all the regulations under the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance, including mandatory mask-wearing orders, bans on group gathering and requirements on Vaccine
Pass," Kong said on Tuesday.
"Citizens should be allowed to choose whether to wear masks or which venues to enter by taking into account their own health conditions and occupation types," she added.
She argued that the current Covid
measures would be awkward if not modified after the border-crossing travel recovered, as visitors from China will not be required to comply with the restrictions which Hongkongers still have to follow.
"Why does Hong Kong still stick to it if the country has no longer classified Covid
as an 'emergency'?" Kong questioned.
Joseph Tsang Kay-yan, co-chairman of the Medical Association's advisory committee on communicable diseases, said the testing requirement for overseas and mainland visitors should be unified to cope with potential surging Covid
According to the present regulations, overseas visitors must complete their vaccinations and undergo a nucleic acid test on the day of their arrival and the following day, as well as daily rapid antigen tests. Travellers from the mainland are only asked to complete one nucleic acid test.
"Authorities should review the conditions which Hong Kong has in advance before relaxing Covid
measures," he said, adding that the pressure on medical service in public hospitals has reached its peak.