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HONG KONG: No more pre-flight PCR testing for inbound travellers from 29 December, 2022

HONG KONG: No more pre-flight PCR testing for inbound travellers from 29 December, 2022

Hong Kong will no longer require inbound travellers to take a PCR test as of December 29 while also scrapping mandatory vaccine passes in a sweeping overhaul of policies to revive its reputation as a global financial centre.

Easing of Restrictions – testing still required

There will no longer be a cap on the number of people who can gather in public, although wearing masks remains compulsory. People coming to Hong Kong will need to undertake either a rapid test within 24 hours of their flight departing for the city or a PCR test within 48 hours of arrival. However, completing a health declaration form to report the result is no longer mandatory.

Reasons for Changes

The changes are based on a high immunity level in the city, sufficient medicine, experience of handling Covid among healthcare workers, an improved emergency response system, and better resident awareness.

China’s Plans

China is abandoning almost three years of self-imposed global isolation on January 8. It will resume issuing Hong Kong travel permits and reopen express checkpoints on the border. Hong Kong’s border with the mainland will reopen the following week, with priority for travel to the city given to those with business and family needs.

a city with a body of water
Hong Kong from the Stamford Grand

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

I have a mixed reaction to this news. With massive under-reporting of what looks like a huge wave of infection post the abandonment of the previous ZERO COVID policy, I wouldn’t be travelling to Hong Kong and China any time soon.

Some health sources say that this change in policy, a huge infection wave, ineffective vaccines, and inadequate health care preparedness is exactly the circumstantial swamp required for the emergence of new and possibly more lethal sub-variants.

Mask-up and run, I say.

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