Hong Kong saw 97.7 per cent fewer arrivals in October than in October 2019, despite recent relaxations to Covid-19 quarantine rules for inbound travellers.

According to Immigration Department statistics, Hong Kong saw 10.8 million arrivals in October 2019, but only 318,935 last month.

Chief Executive John Lee met the press on November 1, 2022. Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

On Tuesday, Hong Kong’s John Lee said the city was “full of life” since the hotel quarantine requirement was axed, adding that overall arrival numbers rose 1.6 times in October compared to September.

Since September 26, arrivals no longer need to quarantine in a designated hotel. Instead, they undergo almost a dozen Covid-19 tests and three days of “medical surveillance,” during which they can leave home but will be restricted from entering premises such as bars and restaurants.

Hong Kong still enforces a group gathering limit of 12 in public, makes mask wearing compulsory, and requires tracing apps for entering certain premises such as restaurants.

The city is hosting a FinTech event, a bankers’ summit and the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens this week, as it seeks to demonstrate it is reopen for business.

Photo: Lea Mok/HKFP.

Since the onset of the pandemic, Hong Kong has seen 10,397 deaths and 1.91 million cases according to the government’s Covid-19 dashboard on Tuesday.

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Tom is the editor-in-chief and founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications and New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Al-Jazeera and others.