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Hong Kong Health Chief Rules Out Quarantine-Free Travel for Now

  • Lo Chung-mau says focus is to reduce travel inconvenience
  • Health Secretary attended daily virus briefing for first time
Travelers heading to quarantine in the arrival hall at Hong Kong International Airport.
Travelers heading to quarantine in the arrival hall at Hong Kong International Airport.Photographer: Paul Yeung/Bloomberg
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Hong Kong’s new health chief has rejected calls for quarantine-free travel in the near future and to live with Covid-19, even as the city relaxes some restrictions amid a surge in cases. 

Lo Chung-mau, who was appointed Secretary for Health by new Chief Executive John Lee, said in an interview with local newspaper Oriental Daily that it’s unreasonable to pursue a full-blown border reopening with mainland China or the rest of the world, and that the government is currently targeting reducing inconveniences to allow more people to travel. The city would see far more than 9,000 deaths if it were to live with the virus, Lo added, citing the large numbers of deaths in the US and UK after the countries reopened.