Hong Kong-Macau bubble tricky to arrange, says CE

The government is trying to work out how Hong Kong can form a “travel bubble” with Macau, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Wednesday, but there are “problems” to be ironed out.

At a brief question and answer session in the pro-government Legislative Council, Lam said she had spoken to her Macau counterpart, Ho Iat-seng, at the Boao Forum in Hainan last week.

She said the “biggest problem” with setting up a bubble between the two SARs would be ensuring that any Hongkongers who go to Macau don’t also cross the border with the mainland without undergoing quarantine.

The CE did not elaborate.

With plans afoot to allow mainlanders to come to Hong Kong without the need for quarantine – from as soon as next month – lawmakers repeatedly asked Lam when SAR residents will enjoy the same treatment when they head north.

Lam said she had no news to provide on this.

She said Vice Premier Han Zheng didn’t give her any clues when he told her at a meeting last week that Hong Kong needs to keep working on controlling its Covid-19 situation.

“So far I have not received any clear indication as to what vaccination rate we have to achieve, or what is the level of confirmed cases that will be considered acceptable,” she said.

Unionist Michael Luk, meanwhile, asked Lam whether the government could order that employers give staff a day off when they get a Covid jab.

To this question, Lam had no response.