Hong Kong SAR ups epidemic control, security and festive preparations ahead of 25th founding anniversary
Published: Jun 14, 2022 11:14 PM
Victoria Harbour in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Photo: VCG

Victoria Harbour in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Photo: VCG

Ahead of the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland on July 1, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Carrie Lam vowed on Tuesday to make every effort to control the local epidemic and create favorable conditions for leaders of the central government to visit.

Lam stressed to foreign chambers of commerce and consuls general the need to be cautious on epidemic prevention, local media reports said.

Hong Kong is seeing stabilized indicators in aspects of hospital admissions, mortality rate, and critical care, despite a rebound in daily infections. The overall epidemic situation is controllable, Lam said. 

Hong Kong residents are required to show negative results of quick testing for the novel coronavirus to enter bars and clubs since June 16 on Thursday.

People and organizations from various fields, including schools, police force, museums, and business associations, have begun preparing for grand celebration events, including an early quarantine for epidemic control, packed pre-bookings online for upcoming activities, and detailed arrangements for the smooth running of events. 

According to local media reports citing a notice from Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers Wong Cho Bau Secondary School, its students have been invited to attend a "rare and glorious task," referring to welcoming and send-off ceremonies at the airport respectively on June 30 and July 1, before which time they are required to receive a 7-day quarantine starting from June 23. 

The Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) is also preparing for security of the big event. They said on Monday that they are evaluating the security risks concerning the events and will make sure enough forces are in place to safeguard the smooth and safe running of the celebrations.

HKPF will also hold a series of activities with the hope of introducing police work through interaction with the public. They plan to launch a documentary in July to demonstrate the determination to protect the people of Hong Kong, and open up the old Yau Ma Tei Police Station, a Grade II historic building of Hong Kong built in 1922, to the public in August.

Exhibitions that feature the former uniforms of police officers, and bombs uncovered during war will be on display. An exhibition focusing on national security education and counter-terrorism efforts will also be at the venue. What used to be detention rooms at the station will be turned into game rooms for visitor interactions. 

Other events include charity concerts, Chinese-style foot drill shows, and flag raising competitions, most of which are held from the end of July to the end of the year.

Over 900 artworks and cultural relics from the Palace Museum in Beijing will be put on display in Hong Kong starting July 2, the largest loan by the Palace Museum to another institution since its establishment in 1925. Among the numerous relics, many will be exhibited for the first time in Hong Kong.

Some 140,000 tickets were made available for online booking on Tuesday. The website was unable to be accessed by Tuesday afternoon. A local resident surnamed Chen told the Global Times that he opened the website at exactly 10 am when the platform was opened, only to find himself the 1,629th user in line for a ticket, with an estimated waiting time of 54 minutes. He finally bought the ticket one hour after he logged in.

Chen Jie, a PhD candidate of the School of Chinese Medicine at the University of Hong Kong, told the Global Times on Tuesday that he is "hoping for some good news on border opening with the Chinese mainland on this grand occasion," as he and many of his friends are longing to go home or pay a visit to the mainland. 

Leung Suk-yu, a Hong Kong resident, told the Global Times that she would be going to see a flag-raising ceremony at the Golden Bauhinia Square. "I do not worry too much about the epidemic situation in Hong Kong although infection numbers have risen in the past few days," she said. Vanessa Dang, Vice President of Hong Kong Youth Innovation Association, said they will organize a dragon boat racing event on July 2 to celebrate the anniversary.