Speaking on a radio program on Wednesday, the microbiologist said some 180 countries around the globe were very close to restoring normalcy after they canceled their quarantine measures for foreign arrivals.

Ho noted Hong Kong should also fall in line and announce plans for the city to return to normality and refine its anti-epidemic measures, including the city’s vaccine pass and the Covid vaccination scheme.

Instead of reopening the mainland borders, he said that resuming international travels would be a more feasible approach for Hong Kong, given the difference in pacing on the path to normalcy between Hong Kong and the mainland.

According to mainland health authorities, China saw 602 imported Covid cases from Hong Kong last month, which is around 1,600 fewer than the figure in March.

Hong Kong must create conditions for the mainland to have confidence in the city ahead of the reopening of its borders, said Ho.

Meanwhile, the health expert said a relaxation of social distancing measures on Thursday is justifiable and would not undermine the city’s anti-epidemic efforts.