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Global Times

Returnees from mainland, Macao, Taiwan to HK exempted from 14-day quarantine

Global Times

By Ma Jingjing Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/15 19:03:40

Nearly 10,000 people returning from Chinese mainland, Taiwan Island and Macao to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) had been exempted from the compulsory 14-day self-isolation as of Friday, as Hong Kong eased quarantine rules, data showed.

The Hong Kong Trade and Industry Department granted approvals to 8,800 persons working in the mainland factories that make products for Hong Kong residents' daily needs.

The Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau said it had received 150 applications from Hong Kong-listed companies' executives between May 22 and June 11 and approved 130 of them, without revealing the number of people exempted from quarantine.

The HKSAR government announced on April 28 that people who enter Hong Kong to study or for business activity in the interests of Hong Kong's economic development would be exempted from the 14-day home quarantines.

The city further eased cross-border travel restrictions on June 8 by allowing executives of Hong Kong-listed companies to apply for exemptions from the compulsory quarantine rules upon arrival from the mainland.

According to a South China Morning Post report, there are 480 eligible companies, including Alibaba Group Holding, Tencent Holdings, insurer AIA and HSBC.

However, a 30-something white-collar worker surnamed Sun in Hong Kong told the Global Times that common people working in Hong Kong but living in bordering Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province, should get more privileges in terms of quarantine relaxation.

"Many of my colleagues now live in Shenzhen after the violence in Hong Kong last year, and because of 14-day quarantine rules on both sides, they have no choice but to live in hotels in Hong Kong," Sun said.

She said that she hopes the Hong Kong government could release a health code soon and arrange for mutual recognition with the mainland so as to provide quarantine exemptions for those have to commute between Hong Kong and neighboring Shenzhen city for work or study.

Liu Guohong, director of the Shenzhen-based Department of Finance and Modern Industries at the China Development Institute, called for mutual recognition of quarantine rules between Hong Kong and the mainland to promote capital and people flows in the region and the integration of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

This mechanism should not be too long-lived, as the HKSAR government said in a June 8 announcement that it's discussing with authorities in the mainland the mutual recognition of COVID-19 testing results, with a view to ending the quarantine requirement for Hong Kong travelers to the mainland.

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