HONG KONG — Hong Kong announced Friday it will end mandatory hotel quarantine, scrapping some of the world's toughest travel restrictions that have battered the economy and kept the finance hub internationally isolated.
The long-awaited move will bring relief to residents and businesses who have been clamoring for the Asian business hub to rejoin the rest of the world in resuming unhindered travel and living alongside the coronavirus.
For the past 2 and a half years, Hong Kong has adhered to a version of China's strict zero-COVID rules, deepening a brain drain as rival business hubs reopen.
The announcement leaves mainland China as the only major economy still hewing to lengthy quarantine for international arrivals.
Chief Executive John Lee said the current 3 days of hotel quarantine would be reduced to zero for those arriving into Hong Kong from overseas and Taiwan.
Travelers will be subject to PCR tests on arrival and will be unable to visit restaurants and bars for the first 3 days under a system authorities have dubbed "0+3".
"Under this arrangement, the quarantine hotel system will be cancelled," Lee told reporters.