(Bloomberg)-Hong Kong will relax some Covid-19 test requirements for prospective passengers as the town takes small steps to ease travel bans.
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While travelers still need a nucleic acid test within 48 hours from the scheduled departure of their flight to the financial hub, they will no longer have to provide documentary proof of lab accreditation, the Hong Kong government said in a statement on Sunday. The city will also lower requirements for transit passengers with a pre-flight polymerase chain reaction-based nucleic acid test.
The changes began on June 1 and are the latest tweaks from a government that says it has committed to a strict Covid Zero policy even as case numbers have decreased and most of the world outside China opens up. Hong Kong has lifted the ban on non-residents coming to the town from the start of May but incoming passengers are still required to be quarantined at least seven days after their arrival.
The latest government announcement also includes easing the flight-suspension mechanism for carriers that carry a certain number of people who test positive on arrival. |
From June 1, airlines that trigger the so-called circuit breaker will receive a warning and a HK $ 20,000 ($ 2,548) penalty. If the carrier violates the terms again within 10 days it is prohibited from flying that route to Hong Kong for five days. The current policy does not issue a warning and instead goes directly to banning trips if more than five passengers test positive.
Hong Kong health authorities on Sunday reported a total of 237 new daily Covid cases, 37 of which were imported. No new deaths have been recorded, officials said in a brief.
(Updates on the latest infections in the sixth paragraph.)
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