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CE says no further easing of anti-pandemic rules until May

26 April 2022

By The SUN 

CE Lam says phase 2 of rules relaxation will go ahead in late May

Chief Executive Carrie Lam has ruled out a further relaxation of social distancing rules before mid-May, as Covid-19 cases fell to their lowest level since early February.

Speaking before her weekly meeting with the Executive Council, Mrs Lam said she was keeping to the original schedule for relaxing the restrictions, even as she acknowledged that Hong Kong is on the path to recovery.

“We will continue to press ahead with the three-stage relaxation that I have announced on Mar 21, unless there is a sudden surge in Covid-19 infection cases, but that looks quite unlikely based on our observations and the experts’ advice,” she said.

A number of her health advisers have called on the CE to relax the measures now, saying about four million of the city’s population have contracted Covid-19 in the Omicron outbreak so they have already acquired natural immunity.


Others say there is no more point in mandating hotel quarantine for residents returning  from abroad because the number of local cases have far exceeded imported ones.

Mrs Lam said that ahead of reopening the borders to non-residents on May 1, nine more hotels with around 3,000 rooms in total will be opened. But she said the government does not plan to further ease travel restrictions.

Chuang reports that the daily Covid tally has dropped to 347 

Meanwhile, health officials reported that the newly confirmed Covid-19 cases fell to 347 Tuesday, the lowest level since Feb 2, when the Omicron surge was just beginning to take off.

Among the new cases, 205 were confirmed through PCR while the rest were reported from self-administered rapid antigen tests.

The daily tally is 84 less than on Monday, but altogether, they took the city’s total infection figure from the fifth wave of the pandemic to 1.19 million with 9,274 related deaths.

Press for details

Seven more patients with Covid-19 were reported to have passed away, the lowest recorded since cases began to surge in mid-February.

Included in today’s tally were 12 imported infections, 10 of which were detected through PCR tests. They include three individuals who tested positive 12 days after arriving from Indonesia, South Africa and Singapore.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan of the Centre for Health Protection said the three are suspected re-positive cases as they were all infected with Covid-19 towards the end of March.


The seven others who took the PCR test would have been new arrivals who tested positive at the airport.

The remaining imported cases involved two returning residents who took rapid tests and were detected during the 7-day hotel quarantine.

Chuang also said 13 positive cases were reported from schools today, involving 11 students and three teachers.

Nine of the students tested positive this morning, and the two others last night.

All students and staff at schools are required to undergo rapid tests and submit the negative results just before showing up for class each day.

So far, 47 positive cases have been reported since a total of 617 schools started reopening in phases after Easter.

Meanwhile, Dr Lau Ka-hin of the Hospital Authority said six of today’s fatalities passed away yesterday while the seventh, a 91-year-old man, died on Apr 24.

All seven were aged 65 and above.

Lau said 1,868 patients are receiving treatment at public hospitals and treatment facilities, including 16 who are in intensive care and whose condition is listed as critical. Three others are in serious condition.

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