Hong Kong to lift ban on flights from April 1
Chief Executive Carrie Lam says gradual reopening to begin next month as mass testing plan shelved, businesses to resume April 21.
Hong Kong on Monday announced to lift a ban on flights from next month.
Carrie Lam, the chief executive of Hong Kong, however, said anti-virus measures, including negative test reports from passengers is a must, or else they will have to be quarantined.
She added that businesses will also resume opening from April 21, official RTHK News reported.
The normalization steps came at a time when the daily virus count touched 50,000 early this month.
Lam said the plan for mass testing of the citizens has been shelved, while social distancing measures will also be relaxed as the city moves toward gradual reopening.
The rise in virus cases has also resulted in an exodus of residents fearing lockdown restrictions.
Lam said the ban imposed last January was being lifted "to allow many Hong Kong residents stranded in these nine countries to return in a gradual and orderly manner.”
Hong Kong had imposed a flight ban on the UK, US, Canada and Australia among nine countries in January.
Businesses will be allowed to reopen in three stages, she said, adding, “in stage one, many types of premises will reopen, and night-time dining will resume in restaurants.”
“Bars, pubs and beaches will be allowed to reopen in stage second while in final stage, most measures will be relaxed, but people will still need to use the vaccine pass and the LeaveHomeSafe app.”
She, however, said, Hong Kong “needs to increase the vaccination rate in April."
“We need to ease the pressure on hospitals, allow them to have more treatment [capacity], we need to help elderly homes to recover. It’s already a tight schedule to allow room for doing all this work,” she said.
News ID : 397