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Published: 17:41, November 29, 2021 | Updated: 10:01, November 30, 2021
HK says Omicron cases won't impact reopening with mainland
By Bloomberg
Published:17:41, November 29, 2021 Updated:10:01, November 30, 2021 By Bloomberg

Pedestrians cross a road in Hong Kong's Central area on Nov 13, 2021. (BERTHA WANG / AFP)

The detection of three imported cases of COVID-19 caused by the Omicron variant in Hong Kong won’t affect the city’s plan to resume quarantine-free travel with the Chinese mainland, an official said.

Preparations for restoring streamlined quarantine-free travel are underway, said Sophia Chan Siu-chee, secretary for food and health, during a press briefing on Monday.

Preparations for restoring streamlined quarantine-free travel with the mainland are underway, said Sophia Chan Siu-chee, secretary for food and health, during a press briefing on Monday

The reassurance came as a relief to many people who have been waiting for the border to reopen for business and family visits. The Asian financial hub has been laser focused on the mainland, implementing a tough quarantine system and maintaining a zero-tolerance approach. The strategy has suppressed infections and deaths.

ALSO READ: HK sees 3 new imported virus cases, including 2 with variants 

The government will tighten rules for airplane boarding and quarantine stays for people traveling from places affected by omicron, officials said at the briefing. They will all be deemed high-risk, meaning only Hong Kong residents can return. They will have to undergo more frequent tests and quarantine at government facilities for seven days before starting two weeks of isolation in a hotel. 

“All three Omicron cases were found in our existing border and quarantine regimes,” said Chan. “We are successful in that they didn’t enter the community.”

Among the three Omicron cases detected in Hong Kong, two people had no symptoms and one has developed a sore throat.

READ MORE: HK bans non-resident arrivals from eight African nations

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection reported three new imported cases of COVID-19 on Monday, taking the total tally to 12,430.

The newly reported cases involved mutant strains. A total of 46 cases have been reported in the past 14 days and all of them were imported, according to the CHP.

With Xinhua inputs

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