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50k free air tickets, ‘cruise to nowhere’ offered to push vaccination

27 May 2021

By The SUN

50K free air tickets will be raffled off to vaccinated residents

Get vaccinated, win one of free 50,000 air tickets on offer.

The Hong Kong Airport Authority made this pitch today to encourage the city’s residents to get vaccine jabs.

Cruise lines are also preparing to launch “cruises to nowhere” for Hong Kong residents by end-July at the earliest, with inoculation against Covid-19 a prerequisite for both passengers and crew before they could come aboard.


Airport Authority chairman Jack So said the AA will raffle off 50,000 air tickets to vaccinated Hong Kong residents and 10,000 to airport employees.

He said the vaccination-tied ticket giveaway should give the aviation industry a needed shot in the arm, and encourage more people to take the jab.

“We hope that air traffic will resume as soon as possible. Vaccination of more people is an important part of the early recovery of the aviation industry,” he said.

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We have specifically allocated additional resources to encourage AA staff to vaccinate, hoping to take the lead,” So said.

He said to win one of the 50,000 air tickets on offer, a vaccinated Hong Kong resident must join the lucky draw by the end of September, when all 29 community vaccination centres are due to close.

The AA will also buy an additional 1,000 air tickets that it will give away in the form of a lottery to its employees who will have been vaccinated within the same period.


But So did not specify the destinations of the free air tickets, or whether a resident could have just one of two vaccine doses to qualify for the lucky draw.

The AA said it is still finalizing details with the airlines.

Cruises to nowhere are expected to start by end of July

Meanwhile, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said yesterday that cruise lines may resume “cruises to nowhere” (CTN), on condition that they strictly comply with health precautionary measures designed for such a travel.

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Resuming the short sea journeys that do not stop at any foreign port is meant to pave the way for the gradual resumption of cruise travel which has been for more than 15 months, Yau said.

“CTN itineraries underpinned by health control safeguards will offer an additional safe vacation option for the community as from the coming summer,” he added.

However, a health expert has warned that such cruises could spread the virus as it would be difficult to detect any infections on board during the short journeys planned.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

Dr Leung Chi-chiu said the short cruises would only be truly safe if the city achieves a high vaccination rate.

If any passengers catch Covid-19 on the ships they could easily spread the virus within the community if not enough residents here are vaccinated, Leung said.

The health precautionary measures that have been worked out with relevant bureaus and departments, as well as the cruise trade, include:  

  • All incoming crew members must comply with prevailing quarantine and testing requirements for travelers entering Hong Kong;
  • All crew members must be fully inoculated with Covid-19 vaccines recognized by health authorities before the start of a cruise journey, except for those not suitable to do so with valid medical proof. Non-local crews who have not been vaccinated before coming here may get free jabs in Hong Kong. But they have to be fully vaccinated before they can serve on a cruise journey.
  • All fully vaccinated crew members are still required to undergo a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) nucleic acid test shoreside and obtain a negative result every 14 days. Crew members who are not suitable for vaccination due to medical grounds must undergo a PCR nucleic acid test shoreside and obtain a negative result, as well as undergo every three days testing at on-board facilities and obtain a negative result;
  • All passengers must be fully vaccinated, except for those not suitable to do so with medical proof or aged below 16, before a cruise journey begins;
  • All passengers have to do a PCR nucleic acid test within 48 hours before boarding and obtain a negative result;
  • Cruise lines are required to adopt a maximum 50% passenger capacity on a cruise ship, comply with the respective sets of hygiene, social distancing and contact tracing measures for various similar premises and facilities in force under the Prevention and Control of Disease Regulation (Cap. 599F), and promulgate contact tracing mechanism for journeys; and 
  • Passengers are required to use the “LeaveHomeSafe” mobile application to scan the QR code of the cruise ship before boarding. After boarding, they must also follow the social distancing and contact tracing mechanism executed by the cruise lines.

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