Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu attends an anti-epidemic press conference at the Central Government Offices, Tamar, Hong Kong, Sept 23, 2022. (ANDY CHONG / CHINA DAILY)
HONG KONG – Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu on Tuesday said the first day of the “0+3” quarantine-free “medical surveillance” system for new arrivals went generally smoothly, and that the city’s social and economic activities are gradually resuming.
Speaking before the weekly Executive Council meeting, Lee said there were many warm and joyful scenes at the city’s airport on Monday, and society has responded positively to the new arrangement.
Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee said that the lifting of the hotel-quarantine requirement is aimed at allowing greater room for the development of social and economic activities, which will stimulate the city’s economic activities
Hong Kong scrapped its COVID-19 hotel-quarantine policy for all arrivals on Monday, replacing it with the “0+3” arrangement, under which all those arriving from overseas and Taiwan need to self-monitor themselves for possible COVID-19 infection for three days after entering the city. They are also allowed to move freely about the community, but may not enter certain establishments, including restaurants and bars.
“People are in general very supportive of the ‘0+3’ measure,” Lee said. “I am glad to see many happy faces at the airport yesterday.”
Lee said that the lifting of the hotel-quarantine requirement is aimed at allowing greater room for the development of social and economic activities, which will stimulate the city’s economic activities. The aviation industry will be the first to stand to benefit from this, he said.
Lee also said other sectors will gradually see more relaxation of social distancing measures if the pandemic remains under control and the economy continues to recover.
At the briefing, Lee also condemned non-compliance with relaxed COVID-19 restrictions as rule breakers affect the implementation of the “0+3” quarantine measures and pandemic control efforts of the whole society.
According to Lee, more than 40 infected people had broken the red code since its launch in early August.
The authorities have detected at least 20,000 cases of fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination exemption certificates, said Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee
Under the enhanced Vaccine Pass function, Hong Kong residents infected with COVID-19 are issued with the red QR code through the government’s LeaveHomeSafe contact tracing app.
The red code is applicable to all confirmed cases, including people under home isolation and those in community isolation facilities. It will remain in place throughout their isolation period and turn blue once they have recovered from the virus, according to the government.
Meanwhile, an average of 8-10 percent of people did not comply with compulsory testing notices every month, according to Lee.
The authorities also detected at least 20,000 cases of fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination exemption certificates. Hong Kong police have arrested five doctors and 22 “patients” as of last week on suspicion of issuing COVID-19 vaccination-exemption certificates without proper medical justification.
“We should condemn non-compliance (with COVID-19 rules) because it affects all of us,” Lee said, describing such violation as unethical.
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