CHINA Hong Kong to relax cross border travel when COVID-19 stabilizes

CHINA

Hong Kong to relax cross border travel when COVID-19 stabilizes

By Xinhua | Xinhua

18:53, October 04, 2020

Hong Kong residents take ferries at the Blake Pier at Stanley to visit southernmost Po Toi Island, a popular holiday destination, on October 3, the third day of week-long National Day holiday.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government is planning to introduce "health code" system that allows quarantine-free travel among Hong Kong, Guangdong Province and Macau SAR when Hong Kong's COVID-19 outbreak situation stabilizes.

Matthew Cheung, chief secretary for administration of the HKSAR government, said on Sunday in his blog that Hong Kong is discussing with the mainland and Macau to allow holders of certifications of negative result of the nucleic acid test on COVID-19 to be exempted from compulsory quarantine on arrival in the three places under the "health code" system.

This arrangement, however, will only be implemented when the epidemic stabilizes in Hong Kong, Cheung said, adding that the HKSAR government will continue to take preventive and control measures with caution and the public are urged to stay vigilant in face of the epidemic.

Meanwhile, the HKSAR government is studying to allow Hong Kong residents from mainland who possess related certifications to be exempted from compulsory quarantine, which has entered the final stage, Cheung said.

To get prepared for the fourth wave of the epidemic which may appear in winter, the construction of quarantine facilities in Hong Kong is in full swing.

Michael Wong, secretary for development of the HKSAR government, said on Sunday 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, the construction of the second phase was completed in mid-September.

Wong said that the construction work of the third and fourth phases are progressing smoothly and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020, when the total number of quarantine units in Hong Kong will exceed 4,000.

The HKSAR government has also commenced 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 reported five new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, involving one local infection of unknown source. The total number of confirmed cases was taken to 5,113 in Hong Kong.

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