Hong Kong exempts financial managers from strict coronavirus quarantine rules

Hong Kong has exempted the top executives of some listed companies from its strict quarantine rules, prompting business groups to expand their activities to other areas.

Banks, insurers, and asset managers licensed by the Hong Kong Financial Regulatory Authority can each apply for two senior staff visits, both of which return to the city within a month without quarantine if they are vaccinated and travel “for business.”

The directors of major companies in the major indexes of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange can also apply for quarantine if their travel plans are “essential for business.” The new rules, some of which were posted on the Hong Kong government website on Friday, take effect immediately.

The decision came amid fears that Hong Kong was opening up slower than other business hubs. Strict quarantine policy ումների Vaccination rates are much lower than in London, New York and Singapore. The financial services sector accounts for more than 21 percent of the region’s gross domestic product.

Tara Joseph Ozef, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, said: “It is a welcome development, we think it should be spread across sectors.”

But several banks have warned that they are still seeking clarification on the details of the application process, including what the “senior manager” defines, and are considering how to protect staff from non-quarantined travelers.

“Hong Kong is isolated from the rest of the financial world, we are no more,” said the head of one of the Wall Street banks.

One of the CEOs of the second US bank said that the release seems to be “a special treatment for 1%”, but it will allow Hong Kong to maintain its status as an international financial center.

But Frederick Golob, president of the European Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, said the government should “step out significantly” because the city’s quarantine claims seemed to be contributing to the outflow of talent.

“There is growing frustration with this de facto blockade,” Gollob said, adding that businesses want greater easing of restrictions on vaccinated travelers. “The government had nothing to do with it Vaccination campaign a clear reopening strategy. “

HSBC said the release of the bankers “will stimulate more economic activity in a wide range of sectors.” “Keeping the public health afloat, allowing business trips to gradually return to normal, can coexist.”

Trave travelers from: eight “high risk” countries including the United Kingdom, India, Brazil, and almost all unvaccinated travelers must quarantine the hotel for 21 days upon arrival. Vaccinated arrivals from elsewhere are subject to a 14-day hotel quarantine, except for Australian և New Zealand citizens, who must quarantine within seven days.

World banks in Hong Kong have been in talks with Asifma, the Asian capital markets industry body, to lobby the government to remove travel quarantine rules from late last year. Some feared that the rules could damage the area as a global financial center.

Concerns have grown as vaccination rates in the city remain low. Only 15 percent of Hong Kong’s population is fully vaccinated, compared with 28 percent in Singapore, 27 percent in London and 43 percent in New York.

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