Hong Kong is readying for a surge in travel after the global financial hub ended mandatory COVID-19 hotel quarantine for international arrivals on Monday, with travel companies reporting 10-fold jumps in requests.
The curbs were lifted for the first time in more than 2-1/2 years after the city’s leader, John Lee, said last week that such arrivals could return home or seek accommodation of their choice, but had to self-monitor for three days on entry.
“I have been waiting for this for almost three years,” said 58-year-old Hong Kong resident, Barbara Van Moppes, who arrived from Bangkok. “The rest of the world has opened up and so Hong Kong needs to open up now and return to normal, because it’s such a fantastic place to live.” All international arrivals in the Chinese special administrative region had previously been forced to stay for as long as three weeks in hotel quarantine at their own expense, though the period was gradually cut to three days. But Monday’s change still leaves Hong Kong far behind much of the world in dropping curbs.
International arrivals are barred from bars and restaurants for three days. Athough allowed to go to work and school, they still need to do multiple COVID tests in the first week after arriving.