Travelers from mainland China and other regions will go to separate specimen collection centers at Hong Kong International Airport from Thursday.
Temporary Specimen Collection Centre Two at the T1 Satellite Concourse of the airport will be launched to cater to travelers from the mainland, while the original center at the T1 Midfield Concourse will handle travelers arriving from Taiwan and overseas areas.
The measure will ensure travelers arriving from places of different risk levels can be effectively segregated, the Department of Health announced on Tuesday.
All travelers arriving in Hong Kong via the airport are required to head to the specimen collection centers immediately upon arrival. They are required to stay at the center to wait for their Covid
-19 tests results before proceeding with immigration procedures.
A department spokesman said that amid the severe pandemic situation across the world, the government strives to protect public health and at the same time foster favorable conditions for resuming cross-boundary travel with the mainland and cross-border travel in the future.
"To this end, the various anti-epidemic measures to prevent the importation of cases and the spreading of the virus in the community should be kept up," the spokesman said.
Separately, the Hospital Authority announced on Tuesday that all confirmed Covid
-19 patients will be sent to two centralized locations.
They will be admitted to either the North Lantau Hospital Hong Kong Infection Control Centre or the HA Infectious Disease Centre at Princess Margaret Hospital with immediate effect.
The authority said that the arrangement was for more focused manpower deployment and enhanced infection control arrangements.
A total of 40 confirmed patients are currently hospitalized in the two centers, and all of them are in stable condition.
One more confirmed patient was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday and will continue with the 14-day post-discharge isolation.
In total, 12,099 patients have been discharged so far.