Hong Kong Mulls Granting Quarantine Exemption To Bankers
HONG KONG – Unnamed sources revealed that government officials in the Chinese territory are mulling to let bankers attending an industry conference in November 2022 skip quarantine, reported Fortune magazine on Tuesday evening (23 August, SGT), citing the Hong Kong Economic Times.
Local government officials are hosting the banking conference in an attempt to reclaim Hong Kong’s status as a global financial hub, after its harsh COVID-19 rules impacted its appeal to multinational companies.
But multinational bankers had one condition to travel to the event, and that is to skip the city’s quarantine for inbound travellers. Previously, Hong Kong had given quarantine exemption to JPMorgan’s Chief Executive Jamie Dimon as his travel would help Hong Kong’s economy.
Hong Kong is among the few remaining markets that require inbound travellers to undergo quarantine, alongside Taiwan, Macau, and mainland China.
At present, inbound travellers need to spend 3 days in a designated quarantine hotel, followed by 4 days of restricted access to places such as restaurants and bars and, but within this period, they are allowed to go to their workplace.
Notably, local government officials have greatly slashed the quarantine period. During the start of the year, inbound travellers were required to spend 3 weeks in isolation. Still, making visitors under quarantine makes Hong Kong an outlier compared to its rival financial hubs.
For instance, Singapore has lifted all quarantine requirements for vaccinated travellers in April 2022. On Sunday, the city-state’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that masks would be optional everywhere, except in medical facilities and public transport.