Top Executives of Financial Companies in Hong Kong Can Get Exemption from Quarantine

A woman takes pictures in front of high-rise buildings in the Central financial district after sunset in Hong Kong, China March 30, 2021. REUTERS/Lam Yik

Hong Kong senior executives of financial companies and their overseas affiliates who are fully vaccinated can now apply for an exemption from the three-week compulsory quarantine, the markets watchdog said.

A maximum of two senior executives per each financial company licensed by the city’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and two of their overseas affiliates who need to travel in and out from Hong Kong for managing the company can apply for the exemption, according to the statement released late on Friday.

To apply for the exemption, they need to provide a copy of their identity card or passport photo page, details of the trip and a COVID-19 vaccination record and send it to SFC at least five days before the business trip.

SFC issues licences to companies such as asset managers, investment banks and securities brokerages.

Successful applicants are only allowed to attend the activities listed in the details of the trip and are required to self isolate at the accommodation sponsored by the company.

Those who breach the conditions will lose their exemption and will be sent to the compulsory quarantine centre for compulsory quarantine for 21 days. Once convicted, they will receive six months’ imprisonment and a fine of HK$5,000.

Hong Kong has one of the world’s strictest Covid-19 quarantine restrictions. Currently, crew members of aircraft and government officials are among those exempted from the compulsory quarantine.

The Hong Kong government and financial regulators have previously warned the slow take up of vaccinations in the city could undermine its status as a financial centre.

Around 1,319,725 people have received their first vaccination dose, around 20.1% of the city’s population.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong is at 11,838, according to the Centre for Health Protection.

SOURCE: Reuters, Jessie Pang and Alun John