Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang and director of the Chief Government’s Workplace Eric Chan each examined constructive via nucleic acid checks and are present process isolation, a Hong Kong authorities assertion stated on Thursday.
Their infections raised considerations over a possible go to by state leaders for the town’s July 1 celebrations, which embody the swearing in of Hong Kong’s new chief and the anniversary of its 1997 handover from British rule.
It additionally casts doubt on the robustness of the town’s “closed-loop” association, which requires officers to keep away from public engagements and enter quarantine forward of the deliberate ceremonies.
As China sticks to a byzantine method of snap lockdowns, mass testing and quarantining to take care of its zero-Covid coverage, Chinese language officers look like taking additional precautions to not catch the virus.
Xi has not left mainland China because the outbreak of the pandemic greater than two years in the past. And though whether or not he’ll attend the handover ceremony stays a tightly guarded secret, the Hong Kong authorities has began to arrange for the arrival of a delegation of state leaders from throughout the nonetheless largely sealed border with the mainland.
High Hong Kong officers entered the closed loop system on Thursday, beneath which they will solely journey between dwelling and work by personal automobile and should spend an evening in a quarantine lodge on the eve of the handover anniversary. They’re additionally topic to every day testing for Covid-19.
“Mr Tsang and Mr Chan final went to work on June 22 and June 20 respectively. They wore masks and adopted related illness prevention measures at work, together with speedy antigen checks performed every day with damaging outcomes obtained. They haven’t any current journey historical past,” the federal government assertion stated.
The assertion made no point out of the 2 officers’ signs.
Chan is about to turn into the town’s No. 2 official on July 1, as incoming Hong Kong chief John Lee takes the helm.
Regardless of excessive vaccination charges and a discount in general circumstances, the Hong Kong authorities stays dedicated to its personal “zero Covid” fashion coverage, sustaining stringent social distancing and phone tracing measures, in addition to tight border restrictions — together with a compulsory seven day lodge quarantine for all arrivals.
Further reporting by CNN’s Martin Goillandeau and Hannah Ritchie.