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2022-09-14 HKT 11:58
Infectious disease expert Joseph Tsang says the Hong Kong government should stop giving mainland and Macau people vaccine passes if they haven't been jabbed or don't have a medical exemption certificate.
On Tuesday, Chief Executive John Lee said mainlanders don't need to be vaccinated against Covid in order to come to Hong Kong because the infection risk on the mainland is the lowest in the world.
Arrivals from the mainland and Macau can also get a temporary vaccine pass allowing them to enter restaurants, entertainment venues and a range of other places, and only need to get jabbed if they want to keep using the pass for longer than six months.
But on a radio programme on Wednesday, Tsang said mainlanders and Macau residents should be required to be vaccinated in order to use the vaccine pass, just like Hongkongers and people who travel to the SAR from other places.
“The impression is not very good. It makes people think there’s differential treatment. We are not talking about anyone from any places or countries. We are talking about a set of rules in Hong Kong that are applicable to everyone,” he said.
Speaking on the same programme, Roundtable lawmaker Michael Tien agreed that the exemption for mainlanders and Macau people should be scrapped.
“For many Hong Kong people, they will soon have to be triple-jabbed to have a ‘blue health code’. Today, many of them cannot go to regulated premises if they are not double-jabbed. You cannot expect them to accept some people arriving from the mainland can have a ‘blue code’ without having a single jab. It’s about the impression,” he said.
Tien also said that although people travelling from the mainland are very unlikely to be carrying Covid when they arrive, they still can get infected while they’re in the SAR and spread the virus further.