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World Hong Kong to tighten COVID-19 rules, seeks to open to China

08:40  26 october  2021
08:40  26 october  2021 Source:   msn.com

Hong Kong government criticises U.S. safe haven scheme for 'fugitives'

  Hong Kong government criticises U.S. safe haven scheme for 'fugitives' Hong Kong government criticises U.S. safe haven scheme for 'fugitives'HONG KONG (Reuters) - The Hong Kong government on Friday criticised Washington for its "safe haven" scheme for Hong Kongers to stay and work in the United States amid Beijing's crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in the Chinese territory.

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong will tighten COVID-19 restrictions despite a lack of local outbreaks to better align with China’s policies and increase chances of quarantine-free travel between the territory and mainland, leader Carrie Lam said Tuesday.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam wearing an arm brace after suffering fracture from fall at home, attends a press conference in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021.  Lam said that under the city's Basic Law, the freedoms of association, assembly and speech are “guaranteed.” “No organization should be worried about legitimate operations in Hong Kong,” said Lam during a regular news conference Tuesday. “But it has to be done in accordance with the law.”(AP Photo/Kin Cheung) © Provided by Associated Press Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam wearing an arm brace after suffering fracture from fall at home, attends a press conference in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. Lam said that under the city's Basic Law, the freedoms of association, assembly and speech are “guaranteed.” “No organization should be worried about legitimate operations in Hong Kong,” said Lam during a regular news conference Tuesday. “But it has to be done in accordance with the law.”(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

It will step up contact tracing, such as requiring the use of its LeaveHomeSafe app in government premises to record the coming and going of visitors. It will also tighten quarantine rules to exempt only emergency workers or those in essential industries such as logistics. Currently, those exempt from quarantine include airline crew, banking and insurance executives, directors of public companies, as well as crew members on cargo and passenger ships, among others.

Biden allows temporary 'safe haven' for Hong Kong residents amid Beijing crackdown

  Biden allows temporary 'safe haven' for Hong Kong residents amid Beijing crackdown Biden's order allowing some Hong Kong resident to stay temporarily in the U.S. comes as China cracks down on political freedoms in the territory.In the "deferred removal" directive he signed, Biden cited the arrest of some 10,000 people in Hong Kong since Beijing imposed a so-called national security law just over a year ago that allows authorities to round up protesters and others on what the U.S. considers trumped-up charges.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie attends a press conference in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. Lam said that under the city's Basic Law, the freedoms of association, assembly and speech are “guaranteed.” “No organization should be worried about legitimate operations in Hong Kong,” said Lam during a regular news conference Tuesday. “But it has to be done in accordance with the law.”(AP Photo/Kin Cheung) © Provided by Associated Press Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie attends a press conference in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. Lam said that under the city's Basic Law, the freedoms of association, assembly and speech are “guaranteed.” “No organization should be worried about legitimate operations in Hong Kong,” said Lam during a regular news conference Tuesday. “But it has to be done in accordance with the law.”(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Hong Kong has not had a major local outbreak since the beginning of the year, with virtually no local transmission in recent months. But it is largely closed to international travel, and travelers from countries deemed high-risk such as the U.S. must serve a 21-day quarantine.

Authorities say resuming quarantine-free travel with the mainland is the top priority, compared to reopening travel internationally.

Biden offers ‘safe haven’ to Hong Kong residents who fear China crackdown

  Biden offers ‘safe haven’ to Hong Kong residents who fear China crackdown Hong Kong residents facing deportation from the United States will be permitted to remain for 18 months under a new measure unveiled by U.S. officials in response to China’s crackdown on the city. © Provided by Washington Examiner “The PRC has fundamentally altered the bedrock of Hong Kong’s institutions and suppressed freedoms of Hong Kongers,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday. “Today, President Biden directed Deferred Enforced Departure for Hong Kong residents in the United States for 18 months, joining our partners and allies in offering safe haven should residents fear returning to Hong Kong.

Lam said tightening restrictions to be “more in line with mainland practices” is necessary to give Chinese authorities confidence to resume quarantine-free cross-boundary travel.

“If Hong Kong were to loosen the border controls for people arriving from overseas or adopt what other countries have done … to live with the COVID-19 virus, then the chances of resuming travel with the mainland will be reduced,” she said at a weekly news conference where she wore a brace after recently breaking her arm.

She dismissed concerns that Hong Kong’s restrictions will make it less attractive as an international business hub. “Hong Kong’s primary advantage lies in being the gateway to the mainland of China,” she said.

The mainland government has maintained a zero-tolerance policy toward the pandemic, using lockdowns, quarantines and compulsory testing to stamp out COVID-19 outbreaks quickly.

As rivals reopen, Hong Kong doubles down on virus isolation .
Hong Kong's decision to descend deeper into international coronavirus isolation as rivals reopen is causing consternation among managers at multinationals who see no end to a zero-Covid strategy imposed by a leadership beholden to Beijing. AFP spoke to six senior managers at international companies to gauge whether -- as one banking lobby group warned last week -- Hong Kong's long-term viability as a business hub is at risk. All asked to remain anonymous so they could speak candidly, and painted a similar picture.

usr: 1
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