Govt U-turns on quarantine-free entry suspension

The Hong Kong government on Saturday reversed a decision to upgrade Guangdong province’s risk level, hours after health authorities said quarantine-free entry to Hong Kong from the province would be suspended.

The reversal came hours after the Centre for Health Protection announced that the arrangement would be halted starting from Sunday due to a recently confirmed case in Guangzhou.

But late on Saturday evening, the government issued a press release saying that the recently confirmed case was found in Liwan district in Guangzhou, and that only that district would be classified as “medium risk” instead of the entirety of Guangdong province.

The statement then went on to add that the quarantine-free travel “Return2HK” scheme will remain unchanged for the time being, and Hong Kong residents can return to Hong Kong from Guangdong as normal.

The backtrack came hours after former chief executive CY Leung criticised the CHP’s announcement. In a Facebook post, he said he was “puzzled” by the announcement, and cited the approach by the Macau government which said that those who had been to the Longjin residential district in Liwan district would be subjected to 14 day medical observation.

Shortly after the government’s statement, Leung posted on social media that he welcomed the government’s decision.