Hong Kong has further relaxed its covid-19 restrictions and bans international tourists from visiting bars and restaurants in the first three days.
As part of its gradual shift from its “zero-COVID” policy, the mainland Chinese government said Wednesday that it would shut down its app that tracked domestic travel.
Hong Kong health Secretary Lo Chung-mau informed a press conference attended by local journalists that passengers arriving in the city will no longer be granted an “amber code”.
The Amber code was Hong Kong’s most recent COVID-19 restriction programme. It forced arriving visitors to refrain from visiting restaurants and pubs for the first three days they were in the island’s administrative territory.
Lo also verified that the necessity to scan a government health app to enter public places is no longer in effect but requires a vaccination permit to visit venues such as restaurants.
There has been a partial recovery of tourism in Hong Kong since the COVID quarantine was lifted in September. Daily arrivals to the city-state average around 20,000, down from an expected 350,000 in November this year.
Cathay Pacific has welcomed the change, saying that it will encourage more people to travel, especially those planning to visit Hong Kong, allowing for the revival of travel and improving connections through the city’s major airport.
Cathay Pacific and its subsidiary HK Express have announced that they will add over 3,000 passenger flight sectors in the fourth quarter of this year.
This includes the resumption of service by Cathay Pacific to many major destinations in November and December, including Tokyo (Haneda), Denpasar (Bali), and Zurich, as well as Sapporo, Fukuoka, Penang, and Dhaka. Some of the most popular vacation spots will soon resume service in 2023, including Phuket and Nagoya, in the year’s first month.
Hong Kong has followed one of the world’s most restrictive COVID-19 regulations. During the pandemic’s peak, Hong Kong routinely barred aeroplanes from carrying more than five passengers who tested positive for COVID-19.
Visitors to Hong Kong will still be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result upon arrival, notwithstanding the most recent and eased guideline. Entrance into restaurants and bars still requires evidence of three coronavirus vaccination jabs.