The mandatory hotel quarantine for tourists to Hong Kong will no longer be necessary starting on Monday, according to the Hong Kong government.
Additionally, no negative COVID test will be required for travellers to board an aircraft to Hong Kong.
They will instead monitor their health for three days to make sure they don’t become unwell.
Due to the announcement, there was a long line for booking on the Cathay Pacific website for flights to Hong Kong.
In October, the airline announced that it would add more than 200 flight pairs to both nearby and distant areas.
“We will continue to put back more flights as quickly as is practicable,” reads a statement, “but it will take time to gradually rebuild our capacity.”
Due to Hong Kong’s adoption of China’s zero-COVID rules, it has some of the harshest regulations in the entire world.
It was expected that it would choose to take a different course than the mainland. Restrictions on arrival have been in place for more than two years.
For travellers, there are still rules in place. They are not allowed to enter public places like restaurants or shopping malls for the first three days after their arrival. Additionally, they must undergo PCR testing on days 2, 4, and 6.
However, the prolonged border restriction has hurt Hong Kong’s economy and made the Asian financial centre less competitive with neighbours like Singapore.
According to the Global Financial Centres Index, Singapore deposed Hong Kong as Asia’s top financial market on Friday.
According to Hao Hong, chief economist of Grow Investment Group, Hong Kong has been cut off from the rest of the world for 2.5 years and is beginning to feel the impact.
The easing of travel arrangements “will reinstate the level playing field in terms of competing with other cities on connectivity,” claims Louis Kuijs, head Asia-Pacific economist at S&P Global Ratings.
Japan announced earlier on Friday that its entry criteria would be relaxed starting on October 11, enabling travellers without a visa or a travel agent. The daily arrival cap will also be eliminated.