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3 imported COVID-19 cases identified

The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating three additional COVID-19 cases involving women who arrived from the United Kingdom and Indonesia.   These three cases are related to the L452R mutant strain.   A total of 28 cases were reported in Hong Kong in the past 14 days, including one local case.   For information and health advice on COVID-19, visit the Government’s dedicated webpage. http://dlvr.it/S28nY4

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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