Taiwan takes it a little easy on HK travelersTop News | Jane Cheung 10 Sep 2020
Taiwan has placed Hong Kong back into the "medium to low" health-risk category as the city recorded only six new infections for the second straight day.
Starting yesterday, business travelers from Hong Kong were allowed to get tested on the seventh day upon entry to the island. If they test negative, they can walk out of self-isolation and observe medical surveillance for the next 21 days.
On July 22, Taiwan removed Hong Kong from the "low risk" category and required arrivals from the city to complete a 14-day home quarantine after a third wave of outbreak began in early July.
Taiwan, however, is not among 11 countries and regions that Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah has said are in "travel bubble" talks with Hong Kong.
Taiwan's infection tally stands at 495 and it has not recorded a local case for months.
Yau said there are no requirements or assumptions on travel bubble partners and the list of regions is constantly adjusted according to the latest Covid-19 situation.
A spokesman from the Australian consulate-general said the SAR reaching out to reopen traveling is appreciated, adding Canberra is studying when and how to reopen borders.
He said Australia is inclined to first resume traveling between Pacific islands.
Priorities will also be given to foreign students and workers in Australia.
The Swiss consulate said it is discussing with the Hong Kong government a mutual target to resume traveling.
The president of the Hong Kong Travel Agent Owners Association, Freddy Yip Hing-ning, said many people are travel-thirsty and he expects a rebound of travelers when the bubbles are launched.
"Okinawa and Kagoshima of Japan and Phuket and Chiang Mai of Thailand will be popular destinations," he said
Hong Kong yesterday recorded six infections - four females and two males aged from 17 to 70 - taking its tally to 4,902, including 99 deaths.
The fresh cases comprised one imported, four linked to previous infections and one from an unknown origin. About a dozen preliminary positive patients are waiting for confirmation.
Chuang Shuk-kwan, the Centre for Health Protection's head of communicable disease branch, said the unknown-source patient was an asymptomatic man, 62, who attended the mass testing scheme at Tai Hing Community Hall in Tuen Mun on Sunday. He lives at King Lai House in Shan King public estate.
"So far, the mass testing has picked up 19 new cases. The percentage is quite low. It's a good sign that not many silent carriers are in the community."
The testing also detected the virus in two more patients who had recovered and discharged two weeks ago.
Chuang said two of the linked cases were family members of infected workers at the Transport City industrial building in Tai Wai.
The other two - close contacts of other previously diagnosed patients - tested positive at quarantine centers.
On testing inmates in all prisons and detention centers, Chuang said 4,300 detainees and 470 staff have been tested. All were negative.