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Policy Address measures highlighted

Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau today briefed members of the Trade & Industry Advisory Board on initiatives related to commerce and trade in the 2021 Policy Address.   Mr Yau said the Policy Address focuses on integration into national development and states that the developments of Hong Kong and the nation are closely related.   While the nation is the major growth engine and driving force for the global economy, the 14th Five-Year Plan, the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the Qianhai plan, the economic development pattern of not only greater domestic circulation but also domestic and international dual circulation, as well as the Belt & Road Initiative have brought unlimited opportunities for enterprises and professional services providers in Hong Kong.   The city must seize these opportunities and leverage its advantages, Mr Yau noted.   During the meeting, the commerce chief stressed that Hong

Travel scheme to be extended

(To watch the full press conference with sign language interpretation, click here.)   The Government today announced the Return2hk Scheme will be extended from Guangdong Province and Macau to other Mainland provinces and municipalities.   Starting from April 29, Hong Kong residents not having stayed in places other than Hong Kong, the Mainland or Macau, or any places in the Mainland designated as medium and high-risk in the past 14 days before arriving in Hong Kong can be exempted from the 14-day compulsory quarantine requirement.   The online booking system for the scheme will be open for applications by Hong Kong residents who plan to return from the Mainland through the Hong Kong International Airport from April 27.   To ensure Hong Kong residents return to the city under the scheme in a gradual and orderly manner to avoid increased public health risks at overcrowded airport and ports, a quota arrangement will still be in place under the extended scheme.   A daily quota of 1,000 has been set for the airport, while those for the land boundary control points of the Shenzhen Bay Port and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) Hong Kong Port will remain unchanged.   They are 3,000 per day for the Shenzhen Bay Port and 2,000 each day for the HZMB Hong Kong Port.    Additionally, the Come2hk Scheme, to be launched in mid-May, will facilitate non-Hong Kong residents staying in Guangdong and Macau to come to Hong Kong without being subject to compulsory quarantine requirements upon fulfilment of specified conditions.   Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip announced the details of the Return2hk Scheme’s extension at a press conference this morning.   Mr Nip also said the Government is discussing the possibility of exempting Hong Kong citizens entering the Mainland from quarantine requirements with Mainland authorities.   He said: "I’m sure that everyone in Hong Kong would like to see the early opening of travel between the Mainland and Hong Kong.   “In the eyes of the Mainland authorities, I’m sure that they would look at Hong Kong, whether Hong Kong is, in their classification, still a high-risk area or medium-risk area. As long as we are still considered a medium or high-risk area, I’m sure that we would be far from achieving that.   “So these are the areas we have to work very hard on: to put our epidemic situation under control, reduce our number of confirmed cases to zero or near zero, get rid of all unlinked cases, and also achieve a high level of vaccination rate. I think these are the things, the priority areas, that we must work hard on.”
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