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CE begins visit to Xi'an

Chief Executive Carrie Lam left Chongqing for Xi'an today and began her visit programme in Shaanxi Province.   After arriving in Xi'an, she met Shaanxi Governor Zhao Yide and attended a lunch he hosted.   Mrs Lam said she was pleased to visit Shaanxi for the first time as Chief Executive and congratulated Shaanxi on the successful hosting of the 14th National Games.   She expressed hope that Shaanxi would share its valuable experience, enabling the governments of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Guangdong Province and the Macau SAR to do a good job in hosting the 15th National Games in 2025.   Noting that Shaanxi is a key link for the nation's Belt & Road Initiative with its rich cultural history, the Chief Executive said the two places can build on the close trade and economic ties to enhance collaboration to contribute to the initiative and promote arts and cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world.   She added that the Hong Kong

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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