Chamber chief: end quarantine to bolster business - RTHK
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Chamber chief: end quarantine to bolster business

2022-06-13 HKT 09:20
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  • Chamber chief: end quarantine to bolster business
A business leader says that, if Hong Kong really does have a high degree of autonomy, it needs to shift away from Beijing's Covid strategy and allow quarantine-free travel to resume.

The vice chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, George Cautherley, was speaking on RTHK's Hong Kong Today programme after the Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, conceded that strict border measures she imposed had "undermined" Hong Kong's status as an international hub.

Cautherley told RTHK's Janice Wong that the longer it took for Hong Kong to open up to the world, the bigger the adverse impact would be on businesses.

"It's good to hear her saying we have a high degree of autonomy over this," he said of the CE's comments. "Because I think that's something international business wonders: are we subject to whatever Beijing says we must do about keeping our borders open or closed.

"So we have to take advantage of that, if we really have that freedom. And I think most international businesses would say: open your borders as soon as possible. Adopt live with Covid as virtually the whole of the rest of the world is doing."

At present, people travelling to the SAR must serve one week in a quarantine hotel after undergoing testing at the airport. Lam has said the arrangement will not change before the new administration takes office on July 1.

In an interview with CNBC on Friday, Lam said border controls had made people impatient, but predicted that more people would come to Hong Kong for leisure or business if the quarantine period was reduced or replaced by home isolation.

Chamber chief: end quarantine to bolster business