HONG KONG - Hong Kong’s stringent travel curbs will not affect its status as a global financial hub, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said Tuesday.
At a press briefing before the weekly Executive Council meeting, Lam said Hong Kong has managed the pandemic “very well” and the city's chambers of commerce agree with the government's strategy to contain COVID-19. .
Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Hong Kong has managed the pandemic “very well” and the city's chambers of commerce agree with the government's strategy to contain COVID-19
“I don’t think our position or status will be affected simply because of the closure of borders because of the pandemic,” Lam said.
“In fact, we have managed the pandemic very well in terms of the community and also the business sector. For 21 months, people can still go working. In other countries or places, they have a lockdown order but we have never implemented that in Hong Kong,” she said.
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The city maintains strict border curbs, with mandatory quarantine of up to 21 days for incoming travelers.
Lam said she had explained in detail to the city’s chambers of commerce the need for stringent travel curbs to prevent the importation of virulent cases so that the territory could later fully reopen its borders with the mainland.
Lam said they have “never opposed the idea that reopening the border with the mainland is just as important” because they also have businesses there.
“Hong Kong is very good platform for entering the mainland and so they have not opposed this strategy. As regards to when we can open the borders, no one can say for sure. I can only say we are trying very hard,” she said.
Lam said hopefully there would be another meeting between Hong Kong and mainland experts to work out the details of reopening the borders and recommend “whether it should be in a large scale”.
Lam pointed out that Hong Kong reported seven new imported cases on Monday and these could have spread into the community if not for the city’s stringent quarantine rules.
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She noted that, when a freight worker at the airport was confirmed infected recently, the government had to quarantine up to 400 other people.
“One, single confirmed case caused us to arrange over 400 persons - 100 close contacts and 300 more secondary close contacts - to go to compulsory quarantine. So, one can lead to 400,” Lam said.
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