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Foreign currency reserves up

Hong Kong's foreign currency reserve assets rose to US$423.2 billion in November from October's US$417.2 billion, the Monetary Authority announced today.   The reserve assets represent over five times the currency in circulation or about 42% of Hong Kong dollar M3.   There were no unsettled foreign exchange contracts at the end of November. http://dlvr.it/Sf21yd

Taxis to quarantine hotels launched

The Government announced that in addition to the enhancement of the existing free point-to-point transport service, it launched a self-paid taxi service today for inbound travellers to take to designated quarantine hotels (DQHs) from Hong Kong International Airport.   It said with an increasing number of people arriving in Hong Kong from overseas, the demand for point-to-point transport services from the airport to DQHs keeps rising.   The Health Bureau requested the operator of the free point-to-point transport service to suitably adjust the coach schedule and routes taking into account the number and distribution of DQHs as well as the number of arrivals.   As the number of DQHs doubled to nearly 70 in the past four months, the number of free designated transport service routes from the airport to DQHs had increased to 18 since early July.   Each route covers three to five hotels and the travelling time of each trip is under two hours. Clear signage showing the routes and the destinations of hotels are placed in the airport's arrival hall.   The transport service operator also deployed more manpower to assist inbound travellers waiting for the coaches and will explore the use of information technology to enhance the overall transport service.   Regarding self-paid transport services, with the co-ordination of the Transport & Logistics Bureau, the taxi trade has arranged 100 taxis to transport inbound travellers from the airport to DQHs on a trial basis starting today.   Passengers have to pay the metered fares and any additional charges applicable, such as tunnel tolls and luggage fees.   Meeting the media after inspecting the operation of the DQH taxi service at the airport this morning, Secretary for Transport & Logistics Lam Sai-hung said the trial service ran smoothly and will meet the demand of some overseas travellers arriving in Hong Kong from overseas.   He added that the Government will review the demand for such a service and engage more taxis if required.   DQH taxis operate from 8am to 2am daily. Inbound travellers who opt to go to DQHs by these taxis at their own expense should inform the staff at the arrival hall after completing immigration procedures and baggage claim, and wait for the taxis at a designated area as instructed.   The fleet will only provide services for arrivals from the airport to DQHs. It will not transport passengers to other places nor pick up other passengers.   Specific labels will be affixed on the taxis for public identification. For anti-epidemic purposes, passengers must use the back seats and the front passenger seat will not carry passengers.   Moreover, about 10 DQHs are currently providing a self-paid limousine service. Inbound travellers can contact their hotels in advance for the service.   The Government has provided DQH taxi operators, DQHs offering the self-paid limousine service and drivers with anti-epidemic guidelines.   The drivers must wear protective equipment, including masks and protective gowns, and fully clean and disinfect the compartments upon completion of every single journey.
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