Reopening Hong Kong Travel: Rapid Testing, Travel Bubbles, and the New Norm to Tourism
Belt & Road Series
Edward Yau, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, updated members on the Air Travel Bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore at a Chamber webinar on 4 November. He said he hoped the bilateral arrangement would be launched by the end of November. He added that the Government has been speaking to 10 other countries to establish similar Air Travel Bubbles, and among these, negotiations with Thailand and Japan are at a more advanced stage. He also reassured members that there will be safety measures and mechanisms in place to ensure that the arrangement is safe.
Danny Yeung, CEO and Co-founder of Prenetics, introduced his company’s latest rapid Covid-19 test and explained their work to help reopen Hong Kong by making low-cost, on-the-spot testing readily available at various airports. He said the new test, which takes 15-30 minutes, had already been deployed at London Heathrow Airport. Once implemented at Hong Kong’s airport, it should be able to perform 12,000 tests per day.
Also speaking at the webinar, Arnaud Bernaert, Head of Shaping the Future of Health and Healthcare of the World Economic Forum (WEF), told members about the efforts by the WEF, collaborating with the Commons Project and Prenetics, to help economies overcome the pandemic. The digital CommonPass could facilitate the return to normality by certifying people as safe to travel, although he said that harmonizing regulations and implementing such a scheme could take time.
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