The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and the Chinese Manufacturers' Association on Monday welcomed the government's move to cut the quarantine period for incoming travellers, but called for a further easing of quarantine rules for businesses to reconnect with the world.
From Friday, people flying into Hong Kong will have to stay at a designated quarantine hotel for three days, rather than seven at present.
After three nights in a hotel, arrivals will be allowed to go home and travel around the city, but will be banned from places where the vaccine pass is required.
"Allowing limited movement to places where vaccine pass checks are not mandatory after three days hotel quarantine is a positive step in the right direction," said the General Chamber of Commerce in a statement.
"The chamber appreciates the proactive measures that the government is phasing in and hopes that quarantine-free travel can be implemented as soon as practicable," it added.
The Chinese Manufacturers' Association, meanwhile, proposed allowing new arrivals to go into more venues that don't hold mask-less activities.
"Currently places such as exhibition venues are required to check visitors' vaccine pass, but in fact, many exhibitions and conventions don't need people to take off their face masks and the risk of transmission is not high," the association said.
It added that it hopes the government will later allow travellers to quarantine at home rather than in hotels.
But the vice-chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, George Cautherley, said he doesn't think the shorter quarantine period will be of much help to overseas business people.
"It's okay for Hong Kong-based people, and I guess you can be a little bit excited for them," he told RTHK.
"But it is absolutely no help to foreign business people who are coming from abroad to Hong Kong, the average business visit is probably only three to four days," he continued.
He said for companies to be willing to send their overseas staff to Hong Kong again, there has to be no quarantine and more flights.