January 20 - 25, 2021
Compulsory quarantine requirement maintained
In view of the developments of the global COVID-19 epidemic situation, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government announced (Jan 23) that it is necessary to maintain the 21-day compulsory quarantine requirement for people arriving at Hong Kong from overseas. People arriving from the US also have to present proof of a negative result of a nucleic acid test for COVID-19 conducted within 72 hours before the scheduled time of departure of the aircraft. In addition, people who have stayed in Brazil, Ireland, South Africa and the UK for more than two hours on the day of boarding, or during the 21 days before that day are not allowed to board for Hong Kong. A Government spokesman reiterated, “The Government recognizes that maintaining the above stringent requirement may inevitably affect the return journey of a number of Hong Kong residents in these places. However, as the new virus variants are more transmissible, and the epidemic situation in the four places mentioned above remain severe, it is necessary for the Government to firmly guard against the importation of COVID-19 cases in order to protect the well-being of Hong Kong residents.”
COVID-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use
Hong Kong has authorized (Jan 25) the COVID-19 vaccine by Fosun Pharma/BioNTech for emergency use in Hong Kong, following the advice and recommendations of the Advisory Panel on COVID-19 Vaccines. The Advisory Panel considers that, under the current epidemic situation, the benefits of authorizing the use of the COVID-19 vaccine by Fosun Pharma/BioNTech for protection against COVID-19 outweigh the risks. To ensure that the relevant vaccine continues to fulfill the requirements of safety, efficacy and quality, conditions have been attached to the aforesaid authorization. These include the requirement of provision of the latest clinical data on the vaccine, safety update reports, and quality certification documents by the drug manufacturer for each batch of vaccines, etc. The first batch of one million doses of the vaccine are expected to arrive Hong Kong from Germany in late February.
Restriction testing declaration lifted
Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the restricted area set up in Jordan district for 48 hours over the weekend was for the purpose of conducting compulsory COVID-19 testing. Explaining the scope of the operation to the media (Jan 24), Mrs Lam said there is a difference between what the HKSAR Government is doing and what people normally refer to as a “city lockdown” in other parts of the world. As the affected residents are not allowed to leave their home for up to 48 hours, the Government has provided all the needed assistance, including the provisions of food packs and other supplies. The order was lifted once the compulsory testing for the entire area has been completed. About 7,000 persons underwent testing, with 13 confirmed cases found as at midnight of Jan 25. People with confirmed cases and their relevant close contacts have been transferred to quarantine centers or hospitalized for treatment.
Internship programs to be launched
Two internship programs will be launched to create some 200 full-time entry-level job opportunities for young people in the creative industries and telecommunications sectors. The Future International Talent program and the Telecommunications Opportunities Program will work in collaboration with six international chambers of commerce in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG). Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau thanked (Jan 24) the six international chambers and the HKFYG for their partnership and commitment towards the nurturing of talents in Hong Kong. “The two programs will also provide much-needed job opportunities for our young people at this difficult time,” he said. Details of the internship will be announced in due course, with recruitment scheduled to start within the first quarter of this year.
Explore new frontiers in music
Inspired by all aspects of Halloween, internationally acclaimed conductor and award-winning composer Dirk Brossé composed “The Hallow-e’en Dances”, which showcases the blend of Western style with Chinese instruments and sounds, creating a hybrid of three styles: European chromatic, universal contemporary and pentatonic. Enjoy this performance by the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, featured on the dedicated arts and culture webpage “Hong Kong Arts and Cultural Experience”.
  • Overall consumer prices in December fell 0.7% year-on-year, larger than the corresponding decrease of 0.2% in November. This was mainly due to the smaller increases in the costs for meals bought away from home and the enlarged decreases in private housing rentals
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: Is Hong Kong an easy place to visit for tourists or international business people?
A: Yes, very much so. Hong Kong has autonomy in immigration control. It maintains its own immigration laws and procedures and has a very liberal visa policy. As of October 2020, 167 countries or territories have granted visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to HKSAR passport holders. (BL Articles 154; 155)
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