December 8 - 14, 2020
Enhanced measures to combat COVID-19
As part of the enhanced measures to prevent imported COVID-19 cases, starting Dec 22, all inbound air travelers arriving in Hong Kong from overseas will be transported to designated hotels to undergo a 14-day compulsory quarantine. For travelers arriving in Hong Kong on Dec 21, they should reserve hotel booking at a designated quarantine hotel before departure, otherwise they will be refused to board the flight. Travelers also need to take an additional COVID-19 test five days after completing the quarantine. In addition, social distancing measures in the city have been further tightened to help fight the pandemic. Under the latest requirements, dine-in service in restaurants must end at 6 pm, with no more than two people seated together at one table. Bars and pubs, along with other public venues, such as amusement game centers, fitness centers, beauty parlors, massage establishments, sports premises and swimming pools remain closed. The prohibition on group gatherings of more than two people in public places and the mandatory mask-wearing requirement remain in force. Members of the public are advised to stay at home and avoid unnecessary social activities to fight against the epidemic together. Private employers are encouraged to arrange for employees to work from home as far as possible.
Virus vaccination drive in pipeline
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government will launch a large-scale COVID-19 vaccination program as soon as possible with priority given to vulnerable groups. The Government has reached advance purchase agreements with two manufacturers that will each supply 7.5 million COVID-19 jabs to Hong Kong, with the first batch of one million shots scheduled to arrive in January at the earliest. The Government will soon reach a deal with a third manufacturer which will also provide 7.5 million doses to the city. The goal is to provide vaccines for the majority of the Hong Kong population within 2021, with members of the public receiving the vaccines on a voluntary basis free of charge.
Hong Kong’s core values continue to be upheld
Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam assured the international business community that the rule of law, judicial independence and people’s rights and freedoms ─ the core values underpinning Hong Kong’s success, will continue to be upheld under “One Country, Two Systems”. Speaking during an interview by The Wall Street Journal as part of the WSJ CEO Council Summit online (Dec 8), Mrs Lam elucidated, among others, the constitutional arrangement of the HKSAR under “One Country, Two Systems” and the enactment of the national security legislation. Mrs Lam stressed that under the National Security Law, Hong Kong people’s rights and freedoms will continue to be protected. Mrs Lam said that, with law and order in the city restored by the implementation of the legislation, and that Hong Kong will play an active role in the national development, with particular reference to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Hong Kong has promising prospects and it is an opportune time for businesses to invest in the city.
Prosecutions free from interference
The Department of Justice (DoJ) reiterated (Dec 12) that all prosecutions in the HKSAR are carried out in strict accordance with the law. The department pointed out that Article 63 of the Basic Law provides that prosecutions made by the DoJ are based on an objective assessment of all admissible evidence and applicable laws and free from any interference. The department’s Prosecution Code provides clear, consistent guidelines and principles for carrying out prosecution work. All prosecutorial decisions are based on admissible evidence, applicable laws and the Prosecution Code, without political consideration. Prosecutions would only be commenced if there is sufficient admissible evidence to support a reasonable prospect of conviction. The judicial process will be continued in accordance with the law, fairly and independently, the DoJ added.
Hong Kong to be a regional insurance hub
Hong Kong will take full advantage of the opportunities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development and the Belt and Road Initiative as the city continues its transformation into a regional insurance hub and global risk-management center, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam at the online Asian Insurance Forum 2020 (Dec 8). The HKSAR Government is in an advanced stage of discussion with the Mainland on the proposed establishment of after-sale service centers, marking a breakthrough in financial connectivity, and making it much easier for holders of policies issued in Hong Kong and Macao to acquire comprehensive customer support in the Greater Bay Area. Hong Kong has also passed legislation to expand the scope of insurable risks and to introduce profits-tax concessions for insurers and broker companies underwriting specialty insurance, further boosting Hong Kong’s competitive edge.
Latest smart city blueprint unveiled
The HKSAR Government released (Dec 10) the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong 2.0 with more than 130 smart city initiatives. Noting that innovation and technology not only promotes economic development but also is imperative in enhancing people's livelihood, Secretary for Innovation & Technology Alfred Sit said that implementation of a smart city brings benefits and convenience to the public by making use of research and development to drive Hong Kong forward. Of the 76 initiatives set out in the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong published in Dec 2017, more than 40 initiatives are completed or under completion in stages. The latest blueprint includes initiatives that are under implementation or of an ongoing nature such as open data and on-street parking meters supporting remote payment. It also includes over 60 new initiatives, including those that explore the use of technologies to address daily issues faced by residents living in the countryside and more remote areas, such as medical consultation for the elderly and traffic arrangements.
Hong Kong and its Basic Law
The Basic Law (BL) is the constitutional document of the HKSAR. Put into effect on July 1, 1997, it enshrines within a legal document the important concept of “One Country, Two Systems”.

Q: Have Hong Kong’s capitalist system and way of life been preserved?

A: The Basic Law provides that the capitalist system and way of life shall remain unchanged. Hong Kong maintains a free and open market economy with a free flow of capital, goods, intangible assets, and a freely convertible currency. People's lifestyle remains the same as before. (BL Articles 5; 112; 115)
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