Hong Kong government eases COVID quarantine and testing regime after Beijing moves

A child wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) has his swab sample taken for nucleic acid test at the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Hong Kong Port, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Hong Kong, China, March 22, 2022. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

HONG KONG, Dec 8 (Reuters) - The Hong Kong government said on Thursday that the isolation period for COVID-19 patients and their close contacts will be cut to five days from seven days.

The requirement for arrivals to Hong Kong to undergo daily rapid antigen tests would also be reduced from seven to five days.

However, the current social distancing measures, including mandatory masks and the use of a contact tracing app in public buildings, bars and restaurants, will remain until Dec. 28.

Hong Kong's moves come after Chinese authorities on Wednesday announced the most sweeping changes to the nation's stringent COVID control measures since the pandemic began three years ago.

Reporting by Jessie Pang and Twinnie Siu; Writing by Greg Torode; Editing by Alison Williams

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