‘Zero+0’ quarantine deal solid for Hong Kong, health expert says

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University of Hong Kong microbiologist Ho Pak-leung said on Friday that it would be strong enough for Hong Kong to adopt the “0+0” quarantine arrangement from a medical point of view, as the city ​​has been granted herd immunity against serious Covid illnesses. .

His comments came days after Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu announced the city would “actively connect with the world to enable an orderly opening,” including easing the mandatory hotel quarantine.

Currently, arrivals must pay for three days in a hotel and follow that with four days of self-checking.

It is understood that the authorities will announce this afternoon at the earliest the adoption of a new “0+7” format for inbound travelers. The new rules will abolish the need for arrivals from abroad to quarantine in designated hotels. Residents will be able to go straight home and self-monitor for seven days.

Speaking on a radio show this morning, Ho said with Hong Kong having achieved herd immunity, as well as an adequate supply of effective antiviral drugs for Covid, it would be safe for Hong Kong to cancel. any quarantine or self-monitoring measures for travellers.

He also noted that foreign travelers will still be affected if authorities insist on requiring incoming travelers to undergo nucleic acid testing before flying into the city.

The microbiologist said the vaccination pass should remain the backbone of the city’s standardized anti-epidemic measures and further strengthen “local defense”.

He suggested that authorities force young children to receive two doses of the Covid vaccine after November 30 and push back the deadline for people aged 12 or over to receive three doses to the end of October.

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