APRIL 6 - 12, 2021
Visitor quarantine to be eased
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government is preparing to relax the compulsory quarantine requirement for people arriving in Hong Kong from overseas and the Mainland. Chief Executive Carrie Lam made the announcement at a press conference (Apr 12), noting that the quarantine period for those from low-risk countries can be shortened to seven days. Details of the implementation is still being worked out. Currently, visitors from low-risk countries (Singapore, New Zealand and Australia) have a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Hong Kong. Mrs Lam also expects to be able to announce more details about the Hong Kong-Singapore Air Travel Bubble soon.
As Hong Kong enters a new phase in its fight against COVID-19 virus, the government plans to adjust social distancing measures to allow those who have received the COVID-19 vaccination to form “vaccine bubble” and gather in larger numbers that is currently allowed at venues such as restaurants. The number of people allowed to be seated together at one table in restaurants will be increased from four to six, and their dine-in service can be extended from 10pm to midnight on the condition that all staff have been vaccinated and patrons use the “LeaveHomeSafe” mobile app. The easing of social distancing measures based on the “vaccine bubble” principle will also apply to six types of establishments including bars, karaokes and nightclubs which can be reopened in phases after they meet the vaccination requirements for their staff and customers. Current social distancing measures that are in place in the city will be extended for two weeks till Apr 28 as the government monitors the situation following the Easter holiday. To date (Apr 12), about 877,900 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered for members of the public.
Airport projects strengthen connectivity
Major projects of the Airport Authority of Hong Kong, including the three-runway system (3RS), SKYCITY and AsiaWorld-Expo Phase 2, will broaden Hong Kong International Airport’s (HKIA) catchment and harness its competitiveness, consolidating the city’s status as a preeminent international aviation hub, said Financial Secretary Paul Chan during a visit to HKIA (Apr 12). The third runway is expected to be commissioned in 2022 and the 3RS in 2024 to cater for long-term air traffic demand. Once the 3RS is fully commissioned, the airport’s annual passenger handling capacity will be around 100 million and its annual cargo handling capacity will be about nine million tonnes. “The pandemic has brought about a significant impact on the aviation industry around the world, but I am confident that the industry and air traffic will gradually recover after the pandemic,” said Mr Chan.
Insights on arbitration
Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng highlighted the importance of Hong Kong as an international deal-making and legal and dispute resolution services center, adding that the 14th Five-Year Plan promotes Hong Kong’s development in various key areas and supports Hong Kong in fully utilizing its unique status and advantages. Speaking at a webinar (Apr 12), Ms Cheng urged different sectors of Hong Kong to grasp the opportunities and better integrate into national development by complementing the country’s “dual circulation” development strategy. Writing in her blog (Apr 11), Ms Cheng said Hong Kong will continue to capitalize on its uniqueness of being the only common law jurisdiction in China by actively promoting the use of Hong Kong law as the governing law of contractual disputes.
Electoral system safeguards "one country, two systems"
Electoral changes in Hong Kong will not impinge on the rights of Hong Kong residents to vote or to stand for election, said Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung, in his “Letter to Hong Kong” (Apr 11). He reiterated that the objective of the electoral system is to safeguard “one country, two systems” and support the constitutional order of the HKSAR. A refashioned Election Committee, comprising 1,500 members from five sectors, will play an important role in the new system. Beyond its current role of electing the Chief Executive, the Committee will elect some legislators as well. This in turn will make the Legislative Council (LegCo) more broadly representative of Hong Kong, with the number of seats at LegCo expanding from 70 to 90.
Hong Kong films at Chicago's drive-in theater
The drive-in segment of Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema (APUC) Season 12 launches with the centerpiece screening and US premiere of One Second Champion(Apr 15) at the Drive-In at Lincoln Yards. This solo directorial debut from Sin-hang Chiu, is an underdog story that follows a boxer who is gifted with the ability to see one second into the future and shows how far a single father would go to gain his son’s respect. Determination is also the central theme in the North American premiere of Lik Ho’s I Still Remember, an inspiring story of a widower teacher and his former student who find solace in the sport of running. Closing out this season’s film series is a quirky rom-comReady O/R Knot (May 2). From first time director Anselm Chan, the film features an outright battle-of-the-sexes between a longtime couple with opposite views on marriage. Reserve your tickets now!
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: Can foreign enterprises participate fully in Hong Kong’s economy?
A: Yes. Hong Kong welcomes and encourages the participation of foreign enterprises, and provides a level playing field for all. There are no foreign exchange controls in Hong Kong and no restrictions on the trading of gold, securities, futures and the like. The Basic Law stipulates that Hong Kong shall maintain the status of a free port, pursue the policy of free trade and safeguard the free movement of goods, intangible assets and capital. (BL Articles 112; 114; 115)

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