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Xia Baolong begins HK visit

CPC Central Committee Hong Kong & Macao Work Office Director and State Council Hong Kong & Macao Affairs Office Director Xia Baolong today arrived in Hong Kong for a seven-day inspection visit.   Upon his arrival at Hong Kong International Airport this morning, Mr Xia toured the Integrated Airport Centre in the company of Chief Executive John Lee, Chief Secretary Chan Kwok-ki and Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) Chairman Jack So.   Mr Xia was updated by Secretary for Transport & Logistics Lam Sai-hung and AAHK Chief Executive Officer Fred Lam, on the developments of the aviation industry and the latest situation of Hong Kong's development as an international aviation and cargo hub. Mr Xia also inspected the operation of autonomous vehicles at the airport.   In the afternoon, he had an engagement session with Principal Officials and Permanent Secretaries of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government led by Mr Lee.   At another engagement ses

Cruise travel queries answered

Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau said exceptional measures would need to be taken, by both cruise operators as well as patrons, before cruise travel can resume.   Mr Yau made the remarks while fielding questions about taking “cruises to nowhere” and incentives for COVID-19 vaccination at a media session after attending a Legislative Council meeting today.   He said: “Given the global pandemic situation and some unhappy incidents where outbreaks happened in cruise lines, I think the public or the operators will be exceptionally cautious in resuming any form of cruise travel.   “But having said that, there are examples of cruises departing from the port, going out to the high seas and returning without calling on any ports, thereby eliminating any chance of getting the virus from another place.”   Mr Yau explained that while the “cruise to nowhere” idea is an area of compromise, extraordinary arrangements would need to be carried out beforehand to ensure the safety of everyone involved.   “There are exceptional measures that would need to be taken both by the operators as well as the patrons to make sure that this is a safe journey worth taking, as we are also aware that the public have been stranded for quite a long time in the case of outbreaks.   “Some people say this kind of short cruise resembles staycations where people stay in hotels. If sufficient precautions are taken and if crew members fulfil all the quarantine, testing as well as vaccination requirements, would it be a safe start for selected few to have this limited short cruise?   “Of course, there should be extra protections for patrons, they also need to do the vaccination, which, as I said, is becoming a new norm for any resumption of travelling in the long term. Let’s start preparing ourselves.”   Mr Yau added that the Government would welcome incentives proposed by the private or commercial sectors to boost vaccination.   “Vaccination does provide a very strong protection for individuals and the community at large, minimising a public health hazard.   “The Government will be happy to see any incentives by individuals or enterprises to help this campaign of making people realise that it is for the good of all the community.”
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