Unvaccinated Hong Kong govt workers, as well as education and health workers, will soon have to pay for regular Covid tests. City leader Carrie Lam announced the same on Monday, confirming measures to convince more people to get vaccinated. Hong Kong has registered 56 days without any cases and life has largely returned to normal in the global financial hub, except heavy travel constraints remain in place, with hotel quarantine required for all arrivals.
Authorities were unhappy with a slow initial take-up of vaccines, although the numbers have improved in recent months after various businesses announced a range of perks for those who take vaccines, including a lottery prize of an apartment worth about $1 million. “If it's purely a personal option not to get vaccinated and help society achieve herd immunity, that's not something a responsible government should allow or tolerate,” Lam told reporters. Lam also said that vaccinated people coming to Hong Kong from countries considered as medium-risk who present a negative Covid test and positive antibody test could spend 7 days instead of 14 days in mandatory hotel quarantine.
He also said that they would have to “self-monitor” themselves. Those who are not vaccinated, however, have to spend an extra seven days in the hotel, Lam said. The government is also mulling extending the availability of free vaccination centers by one month until the end of October, she added. About a third of the population has received the recommended two doses and less than half have had at least one dose.