Editorial : The Mainland Cuts Inbound Quarantine Time

【明報專訊】The mainland has adjusted its anti-epidemic policy. The quarantine period for inbound travellers will be changed from the previous "14+7" arrangement (14 days of concentrated isolation plus 7 days of home quarantine) to "7+3". The reopening of Hong Kong's borders with the mainland is still nowhere in sight. With the time cost of travelling northward significantly reduced under the new arrangement, it is believed that many Hongkongers will be itching for a try. However, the biggest problem is that too many people are trying to make a reservation for the mainland's limited border entry quota and its health station rooms (facilities similar to quarantine hotels). The Hong Kong government should discuss the matter with the mainland authorities as soon as possible to manage the bottleneck. The National Health Commission made such an adjustment to its anti-epidemic policy in response to Omicron's characteristics and the problem of local authorities of different ranks making their own additions to anti-epidemic measures. It does not mean that the dynamic zero-COVID strategy has changed. The progress in reopening Hong Kong's borders with the mainland without quarantine requirements is still a topic that the incoming SAR government has to deal with.