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Hong Kong vows to relax cross-border travel with Macao and Guangdong 

The Hong Kong government is planning to set up a “health code” system that allows quarantine-free travel among Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macao.

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:43 am

The Hong Kong government is planning to set up a “health code” system that allows quarantine-free travel among Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macao when Hong Kong’s COVID-19 outbreak situation stabilises.

Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said on Sunday in his blog that Hong Kong was discussing with the mainland and Macao the feasibility of allowing holders of nucleic acid test (NAT)negative result certificates to be exempted from compulsory quarantine upon arrival in the three places under their trilateral “health code” system.

This arrangement, however, will only be implemented when the epidemic stabilizes in Hong Kong, Cheung said, adding that the Hong Kong government will continue to take careful prevention and control measures. He also urged the public to stay vigilant in face of the epidemic.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong government is studying the viability of allowing Hong Kong residents from the mainland holding NAT negative result certificates to be exempted from compulsory quarantine, Cheung said.

In preparation for the fourth wave of the epidemic which may appear in the winter, the setting-up of quarantine facilities in Hong Kong is in full swing.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Development Michael Wong Wai-lun on Sunday noted in his blog that after the first phase of Penny’s Bay quarantine camp in the New Territories was put into operation in mid-July, construction of the project’s second phase was completed in mid-September.

Wong said that the construction work of the third and fourth phases were progressing smoothly and the project expected to be completed by the end of this year when the total number of quarantine units in Hong Kong would exceed 4,000.

The Hong Kong government has also started construction of a temporary hospital and community treatment facility, with the support of the central government. The additional facility to be set up at AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE), a venue near the Hong Kong International Airport, is expected to be completed within several weeks, Hong Kong government officials have said.

As of Sunday, Hong Kong had 5,114 confirmed COVID-19 cases including 105 deaths, according to worldometers.info.

Since 22 January, when its first case was confirmed, Macao has reported 46 novel coronavirus cases. All the patients have meanwhile been cured of the disease and discharged from hospital.

(Xinhua News Agency/MPD/Macau News)
PHOTO @ South China Morning Post

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:43 am

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