Hong Kong scraps mandatory quarantine for overseas arrivals

The Hong Kong government is ending mandatory COVID-19 quarantine for overseas arrivals starting Monday.

Chief Executive John Lee made the announcement on Friday.

Instead of isolating at designated hotels for three days, overseas arrivals will undergo medical surveillance for the same duration. Visits to restaurants and bars will not be allowed during that time.

Authorities in Hong Kong have been aligned with Beijing's "zero-COVID" policy, but business leaders and Legislative Council members are calling for a more relaxed approach.

Lee says the government wants to make Hong Kong more competitive by balancing the fight against the pandemic with socioeconomic needs.

The end of mandatory quarantine will mean there are virtually no restrictions on overseas arrivals for the first time in two and a half years.