Hong Kong to ease strict COVID-19 measures from April
Hong Kong to ease strict anti-COVID-19 measures next month, lifting a ban on flights from nine countries, reducing quarantine for arrivals from abroad and reopening schools.
According to Chief Executive Carrie Lam, the new measures will come into effect from April 1.
The announcement comes days after Lam acknowledged that tolerance for the city’s pandemic strategy was fading among the general public and businesses.
“Plans for compulsory COVID-19 testing for the entire city will be put on hold.
“Schools would resume face to face classes from April 19, after the Easter holidays while public venues including sports facilities would also reopen from April 21,” she said.
Hong Kong’s border has effectively been shut since 2020 with very few flights able to land and hardly any passengers allowed to transit, effectively isolating a city that had built a reputation as a global financial hub.
The ban had made it very difficult for residents to return to the Chinese ruled territory, with many spending time known as washing out in other countries for two weeks before being allowed to return.
Hong Kong has registered the most deaths per million people globally in recent weeks, more than 24 times that of rival Singapore due to a large proportion of elderly who were unvaccinated as the highly transmissible Omicron variant ripped through care homes since February.