Charter flights offered to Hong Kong students missing enrollment at mainland universities

Legislation Council lawmakers today pushed to discuss with Beijing chartering flights to the mainland for Hong Kong students.

Hong Kong students have reported not arriving in time to register at mainland universities under current quarantine rules.

China’s current quarantine policies for travelers from Hong Kong to the mainland include seven days of mandatory quarantine at designated hotels and three days of self-monitoring home quarantine.

The government currently provides only 2,000 quotas for the daily booking of designated quarantine hotels in Shenzhen.

“My college semester will start on August 28,” said a student named Cheung, “so I should have left Hong Kong on August 17 or 18, considering the 10-day quarantine period for arrivals. in China under its disease prevention rules.”

However, Cheung said she could not apply for the quarantine hotels in the mainland or Macau for the limited number of remaining rooms, nor buy the plane tickets as the price was increased to over $10,000. HK and was not available for the designated date.

“The same situation is not uncommon for Hong Kong students,” she said.

During the LegCo, lawmaker Kitson Yang Wing-kit quoted Chief Secretary of Administration Eric Chan Kwok-ki that the government may charter flights for students to travel to the mainland.

Yang added that a male student from Hong Kong lost the opportunity to enroll at his university in Shanghai because he was unable to book a hotel under quarantine.

“Not only flight mapping,” Yang said, “more methods like buses and cars should be provided to students.”

Lawmaker Edward Leung Hei told LegCo to recommend the government discuss with the mainland setting up a “reverse quarantine program”, which allows people to complete the first seven days of quarantine in Hong Kong and last three days of self-policing in the mainland, saying it will ease the pressure on people traveling between the two sides.

According to a report, more than 13,000 Hong Kong high school graduates have chosen to travel to the mainland for further education in 2022.