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Just a few weeks ago, Hong Kong ended its mandatory requirement to quarantine after entering the country after three years. This marks a turning in the country to reopen its borders to the rest of the world after suffering heavily during Covid. hk quarantine

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Dane Cheng, executive director of the Hong Kong tourism board said to the BBC: “The airport authority will finalise the arrangement with airline companies. Once the government announces it will remove all Covid-19 restrictions for inbound travellers, we’ll roll out the advertising campaigns for the free air tickets.” It is understood the free tickets will be distributed next year.

The city’s major airline has suffered in recent years due to Covid and recently due to the war in Ukraine after the closure of Russian airspace.

The Hong Kong government hopes that the free tickets will help boost tourism to the country. The East Asian city previously had huge numbers of tourists come to the country: in 2018 they recorded 65 million visitors and 55 million in 2019. However, these numbers have gone down significantly in recent years with only 3 million visiting the country in 2020. In the first eight months of this year, the country has only recorded 184,000 visitors.

hk tourism is opening

‘Recovery campaign’ hk quarantine

Further details will be announced once the relevant arrangements have been made with airlines, they said.

Hong Kong has been largely cut off from the rest of the world due to its Covid-19 quarantine rules, which at one stage required incoming travelers to spend 21 days in a hotel room at their own expense, with only Hong Kong residents permitted entry.

The quarantine period had been reduced from seven to three days when it was officially scrapped on September 26, prompting droves of residents to log on to airline websites to book flights.

Cathay Pacific, the city’s flag carrier, set up a virtual “waiting room” to access its website at one point, while online travel booking service Expedia saw a nine-fold surge in search for flights from Hong Kong to Tokyo and 11-fold for flights from Hong Kong to Osaka — although interest in flights to Hong Kong remained unchanged, according to Lavinia Rajaram, Expedia’s Asia head of public relations.

“We hope to give the maximum room to reconnect Hong Kong, and to revitalize our economy,” Hong Kong’s Chief Executive John Lee said in a press conference on Friday.

HK quarantine

But while the hotel quarantine may have been lifted, visitors to Hong Kong still face various rules and restrictions before and after arriving.

Incoming international travelers must submit a pre-flight vaccination certificate, as well as a negative PCR test and rapid antigen test, before entering.

Once they’ve been permitted to enter, visitors are required to undergo a three-day self-monitoring period, during which time they’re prohibited from eating in restaurants or visiting bars.

Visitors also need to complete PCR tests on days 2, 4 and 6 after arrival, and a rapid antigen test every day for seven days. hk quarantine

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