Starting next month, Hong Kong will open schools and reduce the quarantine period for foreign tourists

Suara.com – The decline in COVID-19 cases has made Hong Kong authorities begin to loosen restrictions.

From April 1, Hong Kong will ease its flight ban, reduce the quarantine period for foreign tourists, and also reopen schools.

Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam announced the policy after her government was criticized by businesses and residents as other cities in the world began to live with the virus.

Residents in the Chinese government-controlled city are increasingly frustrated by the strict rules, some of which have been in place for more than two years.

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Atmosphere at a mobile specimen collection station for Covid-19 testing, which is packed with people in Tung Chung District, Hong Kong, Thursday (10/2/2022). [Peter PARKS / AFP]
Atmosphere at a mobile specimen collection station for Covid-19 testing, which is packed with people in Tung Chung District, Hong Kong, Thursday (10/2/2022). [Peter PARKS / AFP]

The ban on flights from Australia, the UK, Canada, France, India, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United States will be lifted from April 1.

Hong Kong’s borders have been effectively closed since 2020, leaving the city known as a global financial hub to be isolated.

“The flight ban is no longer appropriate… (the ban) will greatly disturb Hong Kong residents trapped in these nine countries if the ban continues,” Lam told a news conference.

Quarantine at hotels for entrants will be shortened from 14 days to seven days if the test results are negative, Lam said.

Schools will hold face-to-face learning from April 19 after the Easter holidays, while public places, such as sports facilities, will reopen from April 21.

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Social distancing rules will be relaxed gradually from April 21, when restaurants are allowed to open until after 6 p.m. and the number of diners is increased from two to four per table.