Eased restrictions set to increase travel to Hong Kong
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has relaxed Covid rules after nearly three years of strict restrictions.
Starting yesterday, 14 December 2022, international travellers entering Hong Kong who test negative for Covid will no longer have to follow the amber health code. The amber health code was Hong Kong’s latest Covid restriction scheme which prevented inbound travellers from entering restaurants and bars during their first three days.
Hong Kong leader, John Lee Ka-chiu explained:
“The decisions were based on data and risks. The infection risk form imported cases is lower than the risk from local infections. We believe that the lifting [of the measures] will not increase the risk of local outbreaks.”
In sum, vaccinated arrivals who test negative can roam freely in the city from the start of their trip.
Harsh Covid rules have inhibited Hong Kong’s growing role as a regional aviation hub. The relaxation of these rules is a key step in scaling activity back up in the region.
Cathay Pacific has said they hope the relaxation of restrictions will promote travel to Hong Kong. The airline said:
“The adjustments will help further post sentiment for travel, especially among inbound visitors, thereby facilitating the resumption of travel activities and strengthening of network connectivity at the Hong Kong aviation hub.”
Cathay Pacific Group has added approximately 3,000 passenger flight sectors in Q4 2022. The group is on track to achieve its target of operating up to one-third of pre-pandemic passenger flight capacity levels by the end of 2022, explaining:
‘We anticipate that we will be operating around 70% of pre-pandemic passenger flight capacity by the end of 2023, with an aim to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024.”
Cathay Pacific Group member HK Express will be speaking at Aviation Festival Asia. One session will explore the LCC’s perspective of the re-opening region.
Read here for a brief overview of the Asia-Pacific region’s return to travel.
Article by Jess Brownlow