Sporting events canceled, cruise ships withdraw from Hong Kong

Hong Kong expert: Hong Kong government ‘not yet awake’, he wonders if anti-epidemic policies will be fully relaxed

Recently, many major sporting events in Hong Kong have been canceled and taken over by neighboring countries. A finger was pointed at Hong Kong’s strict immigration quarantine policy. Various members of the industry and medical experts have publicly called on the government to relax its policies and implement the ‘0+7’ scheme as soon as possible.

With the Hong Kong government planning to host the World Financial Leaders Investment Summit and the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens in November to demonstrate Hong Kong’s re-engagement with the international community, the government initially opted to ease boarding and quarantine arrangements. was going to announce. The current projected date for John Lee’s policy speech by the end of September or by October 19th.

Relaxing inbound traveler quarantine policy to ‘0+7’ mode means no mandatory hotel quarantine required, but only 7 nights medical supervision at home or other self-arranged facility must be supervised and hold an Amber Coded Interim Vaccine Pass for the duration. You cannot enter restaurants or bars.

On Sept. 23, John Lee said quarantine requirements for inbound travelers will be relaxed to 0+3 from Monday Sept. 26, and residents who have not been vaccinated will be allowed to enter. Also, a negative RAT test for him within 24 hours of boarding will be allowed in lieu of a negative PCR.

However, recent cancellations of several major sporting events and Royal Caribbean International’s intention to forego resuming high seas cruises and other events in Hong Kong have led to the government’s intention to ease the quarantine sooner. policy.

Among them, the “Hong Kong 10K Championship 2022” was originally scheduled to be held on August 28, with a total of 2,500 participants. However, on 24 August, the Hong Kong Athletics Association (HKAAA) issued a statement announcing that it had been informed by the government that the quota of participants had to be significantly reduced due to the recent worsening epidemic situation. did. After careful consideration, HKAAA has decided to cancel the race.

The World Dragon Boat Racing Championship, which was scheduled to be held in Hong Kong in 2021, was postponed until August 2023 due to the pandemic, but the International Dragon Boat Federation held a special event on September 17 and officially announced the event. The tournament was moved to Thailand. Hong Kong’s current quarantine policy for inbound travelers is still stricter than other countries.

HKAAA, which announced the cancellation of the 25th Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon, issued a separate statement on September 20, stating that after further communication with the government, the marathon is “fully supported” by the government and is actively announced that it will reopen on However, Singapore will hold his marathon with Standard Chartered in December as scheduled.

On September 20, when asked by the media about competition with Singapore, Financial Services Secretary Hui Ching Yu said: All I’m worried about is succumbing to failure without putting up a fight. He stressed the need to continuously improve its competitiveness. He said the government is making every effort to prepare for the Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit and Fintech Week in November.

Legislative Council member Gong Yuk-hoon criticized Hong Kong’s epidemic prevention policy as an obstacle to social normalization, prompting more than 600 conferences and exhibitions of various types to be held on Sept. 19. pointed out that it would. From September to December this year he was in Singapore, covering a wide range of topics, covering dozens of topics labeled as ‘Asian’ and ‘International’. lie down

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee responded on Sept. 20 that he was considering easing the relevant measures, without giving details or a timetable. Sources say the government is set to announce “0+7” quarantine measures in September.

According to the current “3 + 4” quarantine measures, international travelers entering Hong Kong and Hong Kong residents must meet vaccination requirements, including two doses of BioNTech or Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine. Negative nucleic acid test results within 48 hours of boarding.

A mandatory 3-night quarantine at a designated quarantine hotel is required upon arrival. In the meantime, rapid antigen testing should be performed daily. A nucleic acid test will be performed at the designated quarantine hotel on the second day of arrival. He will then receive 4 nights of medical supervision at home or other self-arranged facility. In the meantime, Supervised Persons holding an Amber Coded Temporary Vaccine Pass will be subject to restrictions, including a ban on restaurant access. Daily rapid antigen testing on days 4 through 7 of arrival; nucleic acid testing on days 4 and 6 of arrival.

A rapid antigen test will be performed daily from day 8 to day 10 of arrival, followed by a nucleic acid test on day 9 of arrival.

Hong Kong and Macau Office (HKMAO): Adjustment measures are not unjustified

On September 20, John Lee said in a media session before the executive board meeting that the government was considering ways to improve the quarantine regime for inbound travelers from airports and would make a decision as soon as possible.

He declared that the government aims to maximize Hong Kong’s connection with the international community and reduce inconvenience to people due to quarantine measures.

When asked if he would cancel the nucleic acid testing requirement before arriving in Hong Kong, John Lee said he would consider different opinions.

On the same day, a Chinese Communist Party official spoke for the first time about Hong Kong’s epidemic prevention policy. Hong Kong and Macau have been severely affected by the epidemic for more than two years, Huang Liu Quan, deputy director general of the Hong Kong and Macau Office (HKMAO), said at a press conference. Hong Kong’s epidemic prevention and control measures to adjust the situation in response to the epidemic are not unreasonable and should not be overinterpreted.

He also pointed out that Hong Kong’s new government has repeatedly stressed that connecting the world and resuming normal traveler customs clearance between Hong Kong and mainland China are not contradictory. is responsible for pandemic prevention and control, and economic and social development in response to Hong Kong and global pandemics.

Ng Chi-sum: Hong Kong government needs to ring alarm bells

Hong Kong commentator Ng Cheetham commented that the Hong Kong government had not yet woken up and still had doubts about whether epidemic prevention policies would be fully relaxed. Conceding, John Lee isn’t adamant enough. “

Ng explained that tourism, exhibitions and hospitality are important economic pillars in Hong Kong, opening up many employment opportunities. “But money doesn’t wait for people to get it. Once it leaves Hong Kong, it never comes back. ”



Shan Ram