Regina Ip urges halt to all mainland tourists - RTHK
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Regina Ip urges halt to all mainland tourists

2020-01-30 HKT 14:14
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  • Regina Ip urges halt to all mainland tourists
Pro-Beijing lawmaker and executive councillor Regina Ip has called for all mainland tourists to be stopped from coming into Hong Kong for the time being, to try to prevent a local community outbreak of the new pneumonia virus sweeping the country.

Ip, who chairs the New People's Party, said on Thursday that the mainland's move to stop issuing new travel permits for Hong Kong trips is not sufficient, because many people already hold the necessary documents.

"Although the mainland authorities have already announced they will stop issuing the individual visit permits, the government should talk to the mainland authorities to stop allowing them to enter," she said.

Ip added, however, that closing the border for months on end would not be feasible, as this would turn Hong Kong into an isolated city.

The lawmaker also raised eyebrows when she explained that she was not wearing a mask during a Legco meeting on Thursday because she hadn't been to any crowded places recently.

"I just flew back from the sunshine place of Indonesia, most of the people in business class, including many foreigners, didn't wear a mask on the flight back," she said.

Meanwhile, pro-democracy district council chiefs demanded an urgent meeting with Chief Executive Carrie Lam to discuss their demands to close the city's borders.

As well as preventing infected people from entering the SAR, they say the move would also help reduce the workload of staff in the city's public hospitals.

Lo Kin-hei, the chairman of Southern District Council, said closing the borders would also prevent mainland visitors from snapping up face masks and other products such as hand sanitisers, which Hong Kong people are finding it difficult to get hold of.