The government of Hong Kong has announced that starting on Monday, visitors would no longer be required to stay in a hotel for an obligatory quarantine period.
Additionally, before boarding a flight to Hong Kong, passengers will no longer need to present a negative Covid test.
They will instead keep track of any potential infections for three days.
The Cathay Pacific website set up a booking queue as a result of the announcement, causing a rush for tickets to Hong Kong.
The airline said that it would be adding more than 200 flight pairs to both long-haul and regional destinations in October.
Due to its adherence to China’s zero-covid policy, Hong Kong has among of the strictest regulations in the world.
Therefore, it has been waiting patiently to decide to diverge from what the mainland is doing. For over two years, there have been limitations on who may arrive.
The regulations for travelers are still in effect. For the first three days following arriving, they are not permitted to visit public spaces like restaurants or shopping centers. On days two, four, and six, they must also go through PCR testing.
However, the extended border restriction has negatively impacted Hong Kong’s economy and put the Asian financial hub at a competitive disadvantage with its neighbors, including Singapore.
In the Global Financial Centres Index, Singapore dethroned the previous leader in Asia’s financial industry on Friday.
According to Hao Hong, chief economist of Grow Investment Group, “Hong Kong has been cut off from the world community for two and a half years, and it is suffering.”
Even though the hotel quarantine has been lifted, confidence must be restored. This is especially true given the talent drain from Hong Kong.
In terms of competing with other cities on connection, the easing of travel arrangements will restore parity, according to Louis Kuijs, the chief Asia Pacific economist at S&P Global Ratings.
The argument for the “two systems” provision of the “one country, two systems” agreement that grants Hong Kong its unique status inside China is strengthened by the fact that Hong Kong can move forward on this matter even if mainland China maintains its Covid posture for the time being.
In the upcoming years, primarily through the Greater Bay Area plan, the city should be able to capitalize on that position.
Japan stated earlier on Friday that its entrance requirements will be loosened, allowing visitors to enter starting on October 11 without a visa or the use of a travel agency. There will no longer be a limit on daily arrivals.