A member of the government's anti-epidemic team said that his team was not involved in the decision to exempt two groups from the mandatory quarantine arrangement for mainland arrivals, saying it was a decision made by the Executive Council.
Professor David Hui, a respiratory disease expert from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said that Food and Health Secretary Sophia Chan contacted him on Tuesday evening to say that the decision was made at the Executive Council meeting.
When asked about the decision to include cross-border teachers and students as an exempted group, Hui said that as far as he understands, that exemption will only be fully implemented when classes resume.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong University microbiologist Ho Pak-leung said that the government's announcement on the newly-eased measures were still unclear.
Ho said various parts of the mainland have different levels of Covid-19 risks. The expert said it was not clear if under the new measures, businessmen coming in from the mainland have to disclose their mainland travel history.
He also said that if the number of people applying for the exemption is not too large, then the government should at least consider putting those people under medical observation or testing them for Covid-19 before deciding to grant the exemption.
He said that if there are no new locally-reported Covid-19 cases for the next month, then the situation would be considered under control.
But, with the Labour Day golden week coming soon, Ho said he was worried that this could lead to more Covid-19 cases, and that the chain of transmission needed to be completely broken before any measures can be relaxed.
'Experts panel not involved in relaxation decision'
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