With the global pandemic continuing to devastate lives and economies, governments around the world are working hard to find ways to boost vaccination rates so that our lives can return to normal as soon as possible.
As an externally-oriented economy, Hong Kong has an especially urgent need to reopen. The Government and the business community have been actively promoting the vaccination scheme, with a view to achieving herd immunity and strengthening Hong Kong’s image as a safe city.
The HKSAR Government launched the “Early Vaccination for All” campaign and has taken the lead in offering “vaccination leave” for civil servants. Many businesses have followed suit with vaccination leave, and have also responded with great enthusiasm by offering a range of incentives such as lucky draws.
The largest of these is the Chamber’s Hong Kong We Can Do It! Lucky Draw, which will hand out a wide variety of prizes worth $43 million over the next few months, providing great excitement for citizens. These community-wide vaccination promotions are being led by the business sector and supported by government policies, and show the advantages of everyone in the whole Hong Kong community working in partnership.
With Hong Kong’s excellent healthcare professionals and vaccination programme, the business community’s promotional efforts, and the action of Hong Kong people – by all playing our part we can reach herd immunity.
Hong Kong is currently at the crossroads in the fight against the virus. The global battle with Covid-19 is far from over. Infections and deaths have dropped markedly in places with advanced vaccine programmes, but new outbreaks are still happening, particularly the highly infectious Delta variant.
Promoting vaccination is the top priority in the coming months: our vaccination rates will have a direct impact on our progress in reopening our border with the Mainland without quarantine, and thus the relaunch of our economy.
In my opinion, a “Greater Bay Area (GBA) business travel bubble” should be established as a matter of urgency. If it runs smoothly, the next step will to reopen the border to non-business travellers and create a GBA tourism bubble.
Everyone has a part to play in helping Hong Kong battle the spread of the disease and emerge from the pandemic. Let’s dispel the myths about vaccination and combat vaccine hesitancy. I believe many businesspeople in Hong Kong have already had their shots. But, if you haven’t yet, I hope you will book your inoculation appointment immediately.