Hong Kong drops curbs on incoming travellers, scraps Covid app

HONG KONG (Reuters): Arrivals in Hong Kong from Wednesday will no longer receive an ‘amber’ code barring them from some venues, Chief Executive John Lee said, while dropping use of a government-mandated Covid-19 mobile application.


The news of a further loosening of Covid-19 curbs in the global financial hub, which has trailed most of the world in easing them, is set to boost resumption of travel and business, as the code had limited access to bars and restaurants.


The government’s move to scrap its mobility-tracking app governing access to restaurants and venues such as gyms, clubs and salons, comes after mainland China dropped the requirement.


Business groups, diplomats and many residents had slammed Hong Kong’s Covid-19 rules, saying they threatened its competitiveness and standing as an international financial centre.


The rules have weighed on Hong Kong’s economy since early 2020, adding to an exodus of businesses both expatriates and local families kickstarted by Beijing’s efforts to exert control and limit freedoms.