Full inoculation brings no time out for dad, son

Local | Jane Cheung 14 May 2021

A fully inoculated father and son who returned from the United States on May 1 are annoyed as authorities refused to reduce their 21-day quarantine despite a shortened system starting on Wednesday.

They were told that the new deal only covered those who returned to Hong Kong from Wednesday and could not be backdated.

The Chans, who had completed a two-shot Moderna inoculation routine against Covid-19 on April 5 in America, hoped to benefit from new measures that allow people returning from the United States - which is listed as a high-risk country - to undergo only 14 days of hotel quarantine followed by seven days of self-monitoring.

However, they will instead have to stay at their isolation hotel until May 21, when the 21-day mark is reached.

The father said he and his son, in his twenties, came back 12 days before the shortened quarantine date took effect and took a swipe at SAR authorities as "discriminating against those coming home early."

The Chans slammed the arrangement as illogical, said the Democratic Party's Ramon Yuen Hoi-man, who received the complaint.

Authorities had last month mentioned a shortening of quarantine for vaccinated returnees. The father said he then made many phone calls to SAR bureaus to ask about the arrangement, but never got a clear answer on whether the system would be retroactive for people like himself.

The Chans flew back to the SAR on May 1, and authorities announced last Friday that the measures would take effect on Wednesday.

The father said he had called the authorities once more about having his isolation period shortened, but a Department of Health staffer had responded: "What do policies effective on May 12 have to do with you?"

About having to stay in quarantine, Chan senior said: "If they had told me the arrangement was not retroactive, I would have come back eight or 10 days later. Now I feel like I'm imprisoned for seven more days."

Meanwhile, the SAR reported three new Covid-19 cases yesterday, including two imported and one local case, taking the tally to 11,817 with 210 deaths.

The local case was a girlfriend of the brother of a Filipina nurse, who had attended a family gathering when the SAR's first case of a mutant virus linked to an Indian started to spread. The cluster now has 10 cases.

Yesterday was also the sixth straight day without unknown source local infections.



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