First day of quarantine-free '0 3' goes smoothly in HK

2022-09-28 China Daily Editor:Li Yan

Passengers arrive at Hong Kong International Airport on Monday. (LI ZHIHUA/CHINA NEWS SERVICE)

John Lee Ka-chiu, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, said on Tuesday that the first day of the "0 3" quarantine-free medical surveillance system for new arrivals generally went smoothly on Monday, and that the city's social and economic activities are gradually resuming.

Speaking before the weekly Executive Council meeting, Lee said there were many warm and joyful scenes at the city's airport on Monday, and society has responded positively to the new arrangement.

Hong Kong scrapped its COVID-19 hotel-quarantine policy for all arrivals on Monday. Under the new policy, travelers only have to undergo a three-day health monitoring instead of a three-day quarantine plus four-day health monitoring after arriving at the region. They are also allowed to move freely about the community, but may not enter certain establishments, including restaurants and bars.

Lee said that the lifting of the hotel-quarantine requirement is aimed at allowing greater room for the development of social and economic activities. The aviation industry will be the first to benefit from this, he said.

According to the Airport Authority Hong Kong, more than 50 flights arrived in Hong Kong on Monday. Many arriving passengers said that they were able leave within half an hour after landing and that the entry process was smooth.

Lee also said that other sectors will gradually see more relaxation of social distancing measures if the pandemic remains under control and the economy shows recovery as expected.

Online travel site, formerly known as, saw a nearly 400 percent increase in outbound flight orders over the weekend in Hong Kong compared with the same period last week, with the most popular destinations being Bangkok, Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore and Osaka.

Eddy Yip,'s e-commerce lead for Hong Kong and Taiwan, said that Hong Kong is expected to see a significant increase in tourists in the fourth quarter. Most of the orders for inbound flights recorded now are for late October, and global tourists' average order for hotel stays on is five days.

Noting these good signs, a number of local business chambers and trade associations have called for scrapping all pandemic controls for arrivals.

Calling for further relaxation of the entry rules, George Leung Siukay, CEO of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, expressed hope that the city will recoup losses by increasing publicity to attract business events to Hong Kong.

Annie Tse Yau On-yee, chairwoman of the Hong Kong Retail Management Association, also welcomed the "0 3" relaxation of quarantine measures and said she looked forward to the early implementation of the "0 0" entry policy. She said this would inject new impetus into the local consumer market and help restore Hong Kong's international standing.

Hong Kong on Tuesday reported 3,667 new coronavirus cases, including 193 imported infections.

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