Hong Kong will cut mandatory hotel quarantine for international arrivals from one week to three days from Friday, Chief Executive John Lee announced in an easing of Covid restrictions that have severely curbed travel.
Once a global logistics and transportation hub, Hong Kong has been largely cut off from the rest of the world for more than two years under its strict adherence to China's zero-Covid policy.
Lee, Hong Kong's ex-security chief turned city leader, announced Monday that the quarantine period for arrivals would be shortened to three days' hotel quarantine plus four days of health monitoring at home or a hotel of their choice.
"We hope to maintain livelihood activities and Hong Kong's competitiveness, and to give the society the best development momentum and economic vitality," Lee said.
He denied the easing signalled any departure from China's policy.
"Staying in touch with the outside world and working to resume quarantine-free travel with the mainland are no contradiction," he said.
Alongside the new quarantine arrangements, Hong Kong will implement a health code system similar to mainland China's on a government-developed tracking app.
Overseas arrivals will be given a yellow code and will not be allowed in places such as restaurants, bars, gyms, and cinemas during their four days of self monitoring.