HK unlikely to restore travel with mainland and Macao by National Day: official

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/28 22:55:17

Photo: cnsphoto

Hong Kong's chief secretary for administration, Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said Monday there is little chance tourist travel between Hong Kong and the mainland and Macao can be resumed before National Day.

The first batch of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao health QR codes required for border crossings will be mainly for family visits and business rather than for tourism, Hong Kong media reported Cheung as saying. It's unknown when the health code will be released. 

Hong Kong authorities said in early September that health codes, used to track people's health status amid the COVID-19 epidemic were ready to be distributed in June and that they would be issued when the latest spike in infections was brought under control.

Hong Kong residents can use the code to make online bookings before receiving a nucleic acid test at designated hospitals. If the result is negative, residents can download the code from the website of the Hong Kong health authority, said Alfred Sit Wing-hang, the secretary of Hong Kong's Innovation and Technology Bureau.

Hong Kong reported 10 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, and three are related to previous infections. As the government's anti-epidemic and social distance measures will expire on Thursday, Hong Kong media reported that the government is inclined to extend the current measures including restricting mass gatherings and no more than four people at a table in restaurants.

The Finance Committee of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region's Legislative Council on Monday approved the third round of the anti-COVID-19 funds with a total value of 24 billion HKD ($3.1 billion), and 450 million HKD will be used to assist hard-hit industries and individuals. 

Cheung said the Hong Kong government must be fully prepared to cope with the next wave of infections, which is likely to occur during the winter flu season. 

The city government will spend about HKD13 billion to enhance its capacity to fight COVID-19. The funds will mainly be used to purchase COVID-19 vaccines, further support health authorities, and set up quarantine centers for the elderly in nursing houses and the disabled.   


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