Hong Kong’s borders have been sealed for greater than a 12 months and its quarantine guidelines — which require obligatory resort stays of as much as three weeks — are among the many strictest on the earth.

Corporate executives, nevertheless, at the moment are eligible for particular therapy.

The metropolis’s Securities and Futures Commission quietly printed a notice on Friday saying that absolutely vaccinated “senior executives” from native firms or their worldwide associates might apply for an exemption to skip quarantine once they go to or return to Hong Kong. It didn’t challenge a information launch, and the discover provided no clarification for the timing or justification for the measure.

Neither the Securities and Futures Commission nor Hong Kong’s Department of Health responded to requests for touch upon Saturday.

The Chinese territory reported no new instances on Friday. Though densely populated, it has managed to keep away from a full lockdown and has saved its coronavirus caseload low by aggressive social distancing guidelines and compelled quarantine in authorities amenities for shut contacts of Covid-19 sufferers, amongst different measures. Even vaccinated vacationers should quarantine in inns for one to 2 weeks, relying on the place they fly in from.

The quarantine exemption introduced on Friday isn’t the primary for company executives in Hong Kong; an identical one was issued last year for executives from native firms re-entering the territory from the Chinese mainland. But it additional illustrates how coronavirus insurance policies within the Hong Kong, which has one of many greatest earnings inequality gaps on the earth, don’t apply evenly to all of its 7.5 million residents.

Officials have imposed lockdowns and mass testing after Covid-19 clusters have been detected in poor neighborhoods, the place many residents reside in crowded tenements with defective piping and poor air flow. Critics have accused the federal government of permitting the situations for outbreaks to fester, then imposing heavy-handed measures on a bunch that may least afford to bear them.

The authorities has additionally repeatedly accused the 370,000 or so migrant home employees who reside within the metropolis of violating social distancing restrictions, though main outbreaks have revolved round clusters of expatriates and rich locals.

In early May, the federal government backtracked on a contentious order that might have required all migrant home employees to be vaccinated. But it nonetheless went forward with a plan to topic them to a second spherical of obligatory coronavirus testing, regardless of the primary spherical turning up simply three positives amongst 340,000 individuals.

The authorities has stated that its obligatory testing protocols are based mostly solely on “risk assessment” and apply equally to anybody working in high-risk locations, together with nursing properties.

In different information world wide:

  • Malaysia reached 9,020 new coronavirus instances on Saturday, the fifth straight day of file new infections within the nation, based on Reuters. On Friday, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin introduced {that a} two-week nationwide lockdown would start in June to struggle the latest surge.

  • Saudi Arabia is lifting a ban on vacationers from 11 nations, the Saudi Press Agency introduced on Saturday. Beginning on Sunday, guests will probably be allowed entry from the United Arab Emirates, Germany, the United States, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland, France and Japan.

  • Taiwan reported 486 new home coronavirus instances on Saturday, based on Reuters. The quantity consists of 166 instances added to the totals for latest days as an adjustment in its an infection numbers following delays in reporting constructive checks.

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