|HKSAR Government's response to Taiwan's quarantine measures
The HKSAR Government's response to Taiwan's decision to quarantine Hong Kong residents and other travellers arriving in Taiwan is that the measures are uncalled for and not in the interest of commercial, tourism and other exchanges between Hong Kong and Taiwan.
A Constitutional Affairs Bureau spokesman said, " Hong Kong has taken appropriate and effective measures. All passengers departing Hong Kong will be checked to see if they have a temperature. Anyone who has symptoms of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) will not be permitted to leave Hong Kong. This measure has been acknowledged as effective by other governments. For example, the Malaysian government has restored visa free entry to HKSAR passport holders in the light of this new measure. The new measures being introduced in Taiwan are unnecessary and uncalled for.
"Constitutional Affairs Bureau has all along kept in close contact with the Chung Hwa Travel Agency on SARS and has kept Taiwan fully informed of the measures taken in Hong Kong. The current situation is relatively stable.
"Only two days ago, Taiwan has announced measures to suspend granting entry permits on arrival to Hong Kong residents. In the last two days, the situation in Hong Kong in relation to SARS has not undergone major changes. There is no need for Taiwan to introduce even more stringent entry measures."
The spokesman said, "We very much hope that Taiwan will face up to the adverse implications of the new measures and seriously reconsider the need for such measures. Taiwan should consider lifting such measures in the interest of facilitating commercial, tourism and other exchanges between Hong Kong and Taiwan.
End/Sunday, April 27, 2003