No-quarantine travel for vaccinated 'to be norm'

Top News | Maisy Mok 16 Jun 2021

It will become the norm in the future for the fully vaccinated to travel without quarantine after they test negative for Covid-19, says Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah.

And it was a pity, Yau said at a forum yesterday, that the air travel bubble with Singapore had failed to launch twice over the past year.

Yau said the Hong Kong government has imposed vaccination requirements "as a trade-off for quarantine requirements."

He was referring to the travel bubble in which Hong Kong residents have to take two shots of vaccines before departure for Singapore.

"I believe that will eventually be one of the keys to unlocking certain activities both locally and also crossing borders," he said.

The government is considering relaxing quarantine measures when there is higher community participation in being fully vaccinated. Yau added easing of restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals could apply to entering premises in Hong Kong as well as international and cross-border travel.

He said it will be the norm in the future for Hongkongers to be exempted from quarantine - under the condition of being vaccinated and getting tested negative twice - before departure and upon arrival to a region.

Meanwhile, the University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital has administered 7,318 jabs to Hongkongers staying in the mainland since mid-April, its chief executive Lo Chung-mau said.

Lo said starting from this week the hospital will increase the daily vaccination quota from 800 to 1,000 and that 90 percent will be reserved for those taking the second dose.

"The vaccination started on April 13 and there are currently many people waiting to take their second dose," Lo said. "We have to prioritize those getting a second jab, which has to be taken after 21 days to within around eight weeks from the first dose."

Lo said sending vaccines from Hong Kong to the mainland for Hongkongers there is not advisable, adding that the hospital has a sufficient supply. Three vaccine types are available in Shenzhen - those from Sinovac, Sinopharm and BioKangtai.

Lo said the quota can be expanded to 2,000 spots a day next month after the hospital expands its vaccination outpatient service.

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