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international

Non-residents to be allowed to fly into HK from May 1


HONG KONG – The government of Hong Kong has decided to allow non-residents from overseas to fly into the city from May 1, ending a restriction that has been in place for more than two years.

The authorities will also relax rules regarding suspension of incoming flights bringing in infected people, also from the start of the next month. 

The decision came after the government's Inter-departmental Steering Committee cum Command Centre reviewed the current pandemic situation in Hong Kong and overseas.

Considering the public health risk associated with non-residents, overall volume of inbound passengers and designated quarantine hotels for them, and stringent inbound control measures, such people will be subject to the same boarding, quarantine and testing arrangements as residents returning to the city, the government said in a press release Friday night. 

The authorities will adjust the arrangements for overseas arrivals later based on risk levels as the situation warrants, it added. 

To guard against the importation of COVID-19 cases, non-residents will have to follow other rules that apply to returning locals and will need to be vaccinated, have a negative test result before boarding their flights and undergo quarantine at designated hotels upon arrival. 

All arrivals at the Hong Kong International Airport will be required to take a rapid antigen test. Those testing negative via RAT can take dedicated transport to go to their hotels for isolation.

Regarding flight suspensions for carrying infected passengers, the government said flights will be banned if they bring in five or more passengers, or 5 percent or more of the total number of passengers on board the same flight, whichever is higher. The existing threshold is three infected persons. 

If there are three or more infections on the plane, and one or more passengers are found to have failed to comply with boarding requirements, the specific-route flight suspension will be triggered. 

Under the adjusted rules, the length of suspension time will be cut to five days from seven, the government added. 

By Wang Zhan

 

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Published : April 23, 2022

By : China Daily