“Although we have different systems, our common expectation is that -- under the collective prevention and control scheme -- we must become more and more aligned,” Food and Health Secretary Sophia Chan Siu-chee told a Friday briefing.
The city will continue to work to maintain zero cases in the community and wants to avoid bringing additional risks to the mainland, she said, reiterating that reopening the border with China remained a top priority.
Hong Kong hasn’t reported a local Covid case in nearly two months, and hasn’t yet experienced local transmission of the delta strain -- one of the only places in the world still free of the highly infectious mutation.
The city on Thursday reported that an airport worker had a preliminary positive test for Covid, raising the specter of a local outbreak.
Communication with the mainland regarding the pandemic has been constructive, and Hong Kong will fully cooperate on requirements for reopening the border, Chan said.
Mainland China, along with special administrative regions Hong Kong and Macau, is the last place in the world holding fast to the goal of eliminating the virus, even as the delta variant and proliferation of vaccines have led Covid Zero stalwarts New Zealand, Australia and Singapore to shift toward treating the pathogen as endemic.
Hong Kong has fully vaccinated 57 percent of its population, far behind the 81 percent recorded by Singapore, according to Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker.
Life in the city is largely normal, with social and business activity bustling amid the lack of Covid risk. But its tough quarantine measures, which mandate isolation periods of as long as 21 days for travelers, are fueling concerns that Hong Kong could be left behind as other global finance centers reopen.
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