Hong Kong to scrap isolation requirement for people with COVID

People wearing face masks walk on the street during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Hong Kong
People wearing face masks walk on the street during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Hong Kong, China, December 28, 2022. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

HONG KONG, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Hong Kong said it will no longer require people infected with COVID-19 to quarantine from Jan. 30, removing one of the last major coronavirus restrictions in place in the Asian financial hub.

The scrapping of the isolation requirements is part of a decision to downgrade COVID-19's status to an endemic disease from a severe respiratory disease and follows a similar move by China on Jan.8.

"I have decided to scrap the quarantine order for COVID-infected patients. This is one of the important steps towards normalcy," city leader John Lee told a legislative meeting on Thursday.

People in Hong Kong are, however, still required to wear masks unless exercising.

Last week, high-speed rail services between Hong Kong and mainland China resumed for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.

The re-opening comes amidst a massive wave of infections on the mainland following China's abrupt U-turn on its "zero-COVID" policy.

Reporting by Jessie Pang, Clare Jim and Anne Marie Roantree; Writing by Farah Master; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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