After years of COVID-19 restrictions, Hong Kong takes steps to restore its status as Asia’s leading financial hub
On September 23, 2022, Hong Kong announced a significant easing of COVID-19 restrictions for travellers arriving into the city starting from September 26, 2022. Whereas previously business travellers and tourists were required to quarantine in a hotel room for three nights at their own expense, they are now able to choose their own accommodation.
Pre-departure nucleic acid testing for incoming travellers is no longer required, instead they will need to declare a negative self-arranged rapid antigen test (RAT) conducted within 24 hours prior to the scheduled time of departure via the online declaration form from the Department of Health.
Hong Kong residents will no longer need to be vaccinated as a boarding requirement, though non-residents will still need to present a vaccination certificate. New arrangements of “Test-and-go” will be implemented at the airport, and travellers will no longer need to wait for a test result at the airport on arrival, rather they can head straight on to their accommodation of choice.
Travellers are required to monitor their own health and are supplemented by daily RATs tests for seven days. Additionally, while they are free to move around the city, they are obliged to comply with Amber Code restrictions such as not being allowed into restaurants and bars for the initial three days. They will also have to conduct nucleic acid tests at community testing centres on three separate occasions within a seven-day span.
These are some of the easing of restrictions that Hong Kong hopes will start transitioning the city back to normal and restore its position as a leading global financial services hub.
Hong Kong is also hosting the Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit on November 2, 2022 which will see some of the world’s top banks and asset managers – including Goldman Sachs Group, Morgan Stanley and BlackRock among others – attend in person. Over 100 executives are expected to attend and will be the biggest and most high-profile business event held in two years.
Additionally, the Rugby Sevens will also return in November. Announced at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens will return though details are still being worked out. Pre-pandemic, the tournament would regularly see 20,000 people attend per day, contributing around HK$400 million into the economy, a return of the tournament will be seen by many as a significant step back to normal.
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