The Hong Kong travel trade expects Macau to be its partner soon for a so-called “travel bubble” system – that would allow movement between the two places in the aftermath of the initial Covid-19 crisis – without the need for a 14-day quarantine at each end.
“The industry expects that the arrangement can be negotiated” between the governments of the two cities “within this month, and enacted within these one or two months,” said Jason Wong Chun-tat, chairman of the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong. He was speaking to Hong Kong media on Tuesday following a meeting with officials from that city’s Commerce and Economic Development Bureau.
At the media briefing, Mr Wong also made reference to a meeting between his group and Hong Kong’s Secretary for Food and Health, Sophia Chan Siu-chee last week. During the encounter, his trade group was told that a “health code” declaration system involving mainland China’s Guangdong province and China’s neighbouring Special Administrative Regions, Hong Kong and Macau was “close to completion”. The system aims to identify whether people are free from Covid-19 infection. At the moment Guangdong and Macau have their own distinct health declaration systems.
There was “big pent-up demand” in Hong Kong for outbound business and leisure travel, said Mr Wong on Tuesday. He added the local travel industry looked forward to cross-border travel normalising soon “so that we can restart our businesses”.
At the weekend Hong Kong media cited a Hong Kong government response to Chan Kin-por, a member of the city’s Legislative Council, indicating the city aimed soon to launch its version of a health declaration setup.
Following fresh clusters of Covid-19 infection in Hong Kong, the city had announced an extension until July 7 of the deadline for ending its 14-day quarantine rule for arrivals from Macau, mainland China and Taiwan.
GGRAsia approached the Office of the Macau Government Spokesperson, asking whether there were updates on easing of travel restrictions on the Macau border. People from mainland China are currently able to enter Macau without undergoing quarantine, but must currently be quarantined at the mainland end after they leave Macau. The Spokesperson’s office replied on Tuesday saying it could not provide any new information on the topic.
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