Hong Kong to announce end to hotel quarantine on Friday

Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu will announce an end to hotel quarantine at a press conference Friday afternoon, according to people familiar with the matter.

Senior officials will meet at noon for a final discussion on Hong Kong’s Covid measures, with a public announcement expected to be made later this afternoon, one of the people said.

The government will end mandatory hotel quarantine and a requirement that new arrivals get a negative PCR test before boarding a plane, one person said. Arrivals must monitor their health for seven days, the person added. If arrivals test positive for Covid, they will not be sent to the Penny’s Bay isolation facility.

The news was first reported by local broadcaster Cable TV and TVB.

Hong Kong is gearing up for further easing of its travel curbs, which have been some of the world’s toughest as the city follows China’s Covid Zero lead. Prolonged closure of the border has left the financial hub at a disadvantage compared with rivals such as Singapore, which attracted more investment and talent after they shifted to living with the virus.