Hong Kong plans to relax COVID-19 measures for vaccinated residents
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Hong Kong will relax some coronavirus measures for residents who have been completely inoculated. These relaxations are expected to take effect in late April, city leader Carrie Lam said Monday as authorities try to boost the vaccination process at the global financial center.
Bars and pubs, which are currently closed, could be reopened in stages, provided that all employees and customers have been vaccinated. Visas in public hospitals and nursing homes could also be allowed for vaccinated people.
Hong Kong wants relaxation of anti-covid measures for those vaccinated
Lam, who spoke at a news conference on Monday, said the government was discussing further details and plans to relax the measures from April 29. Only residents who receive both doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be eligible.
The vaccination process is slow in the Chinese special administrative region due to low confidence in China's Sinovac vaccine and fears of side effects. Only about 8% of the city's population has been inoculated so far.
"We would like to see an increase in the vaccination rate, which is currently unsatisfactorySaid Lam. Quarantine periods for fully vaccinated people arriving from low-risk countries, such as Australia, Singapore and New Zealand, could be reduced to 7 days out of 14 days and to 14 out of 21 days for arrivals from medium-risk countries. She said it was not yet clear when such quarantine measures would be relaxed.
Hong Kong has been vaccinating residents with Sinovac doses since February. And in March, Hong Kong authorities began offering the alternative to the vaccine developed by BioNTech.
With the introduction of the vaccine developed by BioNTech, the vaccination rate has increased by two to three times, every day, compared to the daily vaccination rate recorded by Sinovac, according to government figures. Hong Kong residents can choose what vaccine they want. Reluctance for the Sinovac vaccine is blamed on several deaths after the vaccine, although the government has said there is no direct link between the vaccine and deaths. The former British colony has more than 11.500 cases of coronavirus, far fewer than other equally developed cities and metropolises.