Pedestrians cross a street in Hong Kong on Oct 31, 2021. (BERTHA WANG / AFP)
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will launch a health code system in early December, a major part of its plan for quarantine-free travel with the Chinese mainland.
Chief Secretary John Lee Ka-chiu told the media on Thursday night that mainland experts who visited the SAR earlier this week believe that Hong Kong is ready to resume quarantine-free travel.
Chief Secretary John Lee Ka-chiu told the media on Thursday night that mainland experts who visited the SAR earlier this week believe that Hong Kong is ready to resume quarantine-free travel with the mainland
Lee said the government is quickly preparing an orderly and gradual resumption that will include use of the health code system, new personnel and management arrangements at the ports of entry, and contingency plans to identify and screen out risks.
Lee’s remarks followed a meeting with mainland officials and experts on anti-pandemic work in Shenzhen.
The upcoming Hong Kong health code, which will include users’ real names, will work with the LeaveHomeSafe contact-tracing app to document users’ travel history.
Accompanying Lee at the media briefing after the meeting, Secretary for Innovation and Technology Alfred Sit Wing-hang said the government will brief the public about the health code system next week, and a user guide will be provided to assist people before its official launch in December.
Lee and a team of officials and experts from Hong Kong arrived in Shenzhen on Wednesday for the much-awaited Thursday meeting, which took place two days after a mainland expert delegation finished a four-day visit in Hong Kong to examine the city’s anti-pandemic system.
The first mainland-Hong Kong anti-pandemic work meeting took place in September. A video conference was held in November for the same purpose.
To align with the mainland’s standards, the Hong Kong government has also bolstered anti-pandemic measures. As of Dec 9, customers visiting 18 kinds of leisure venues, such as restaurants, gyms, hotels and cinemas, will be required to scan the venue’s QR code in their LeaveHomeSafe app before entering the premises.
To date, over 70 percent of Hong Kong’s eligible population, or 4.72 million people, have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. More than 110,800 people received a third dose.
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