Risk of infection low running airport-quarantine hotel route, says taxi driver

Taxi drivers taking the city’s inbound travelers to quarantine hotels said on Monday they were not worried about running the route as the risk for infection is pretty low.

Starting Monday, inbound travelers can choose to take designated cabs to quarantine hotels, which will operate from 8am to 2am.

One of the drivers told reporters this morning that he had previously participated in the “anti-epidemic” taxi service program for Covid patients.

He said he had gained experiences from taking part in providing such services, in which the most important thing is to take adequate protective measures, such as wearing protective clothing and using 1:99 diluted household bleach to disinfect the car.

He noted that the passengers this time were not infected patients and that they had all tested negative prior to their arrival, so the risk was relatively lower.

The taxi industry said they have received more than 10 orders to quarantine hotels in the first hour of the program, and it was expected that the business of self-paid quarantine hotel cabs will be good, with each cab receiving five to six orders per day.

Meanwhile, Ng Kwan-sing of the Taxi Dealers and Owners Association said on the first day of the designated taxis’ operation, many arrivals do not know about the new arrangements.

He said authorities rushed through with the implementation of the program, whereas the industry only received notice last week. He believed that the number of passengers using the service will increase after authorities stepped up publicity.

Seperately, Timothy Chui, the executive director of the Hong Kong Tourism Association, said the new arrangement will increase quarantine hotels’ workload, but it will not be too hard for the trade to cope with.

Chui believed that with the introduction of the new service and the enhanced boarding rules introduced yesterday, the process for inbound travelers entering the city will be accelerated and the city will take one step closer to resuming to normal.