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Reverse quarantine explained

(To watch the full media session with sign language interpretation, click here.)   Chief Executive John Lee said today that the suggestion of implementing reverse quarantine for entering Shenzhen aims to create a system that will continue to operate regardless of the pandemic situation on either side of the boundary.   Speaking to reporters ahead of the Executive Council meeting this morning, Mr Lee said he hopes to create a system that can continue to operate without big changes in the long run.   “The standards, of course, will have to be endorsed by the Shenzhen authorities because they are the authorities who will be exempting the "7+3" quarantine requirement after a person has fulfilled their reverse quarantine requirements in Hong Kong.   “I am aiming at creating a system which will continue to operate, however the situation develops on either side of the boundary, and we are working hard towards that goal.”   Regarding the recent local COVID-19 situation, Mr Lee noted that the number of cases in the last few weeks ranged between 8,000 and 11,000, which remained at a high level.   “It came down to about 8,000 yesterday, but since we just passed the Mid-Autumn Festival, we have to monitor the situation."   He reaffirmed that when taking measures against the epidemic, the Government looks at two important factors - whether hospital services will remain functional and the protection of those in need, including the very young, the elderly and those who have chronic illnesses.   “Any measures that this Government takes, while being very conscious of the need of society to return to normal activities and allowing the economy to develop, plus ensuring Hong Kong's competitiveness, the Government also cannot turn a blind eye to these two facts that public hospitals have already cut 30% of its services in order to deal with the COVID-19 epidemic.     “And also, high-risk groups are under real threat to their health and to their life because vaccination rates for these high-risk groups are still unsatisfactory.”   Mr Lee pointed out that COVID-19 is different from influenza despite some people thinking they are similar.    He called on people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 soon to protect themselves.
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