Japan urged to reopen border to HK travellers

The Travel Industry Council said on Thursday that it hopes Japan will allow Hong Kong residents to travel there, including those vaccinated with a Covid jab the country doesn’t recognise at present.

Japan has announced it will open its borders to small group tours from Australia, Singapore, Thailand and the United States.

The council’s chairwoman, Gianna Hsu, said travel agencies have already received a lot of enquiries about trips to Japan, even though Hong Kong is not included in the first phase of the country’s tourism trial.

She said she hopes to meet tourism officials from Japan next week and she will express the wish that Hong Kong can be included in a second, wider reopening trial.

Hsu noted that tourists going to Japan must be tripled vaccinated, but the country doesn’t recognise Sinovac, one of the two vaccines used in Hong Kong.

“Sinovac is not included in the six vaccines recognised by Japan. We will tell them we hope they will accept Sinovac because many Hong Kong people are vaccinated with it. We hope they won’t be prevented from travelling to Japan,” she said.

Hsu also said she expects tour prices to increase by up to 10 percent compared to the level before the Covid-19 pandemic.