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5 ways Hong Kong stays clean and ready to welcome world’s travellers

Morning Studio editors
  • Written by Morning Studio editors

Hong Kong is ready! And it’s all thanks to pioneering innovations and effective health policies. Hong Kong has largely managed to control the COVID-19 outbreak without the need for enacting hard lockdown measures. 

Check out five things that Hong Kong is doing to protect the health and safety of its visitors as they explore around the city.

1. Anti-epidemic hygiene programme

The Anti-epidemic hygiene programme logo

To ensure all visitors can travel with confidence, the Hong Kong Tourism Board and the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency have also introduced the Anti-epidemic Hygiene Measures Certification Scheme, a programme that confirms merchants meet strict hygiene standards. 

Hotel staff conducting temperature checks

Merchants and other businesses in various sectors, including hotels, restaurants and tour operators wishing to apply for the label must implement measures, such as conducting temperature checks on staff, providing hand hygiene amenities to customers, regularly disinfecting high-touch surfaces and maintaining good indoor ventilation.

Once a merchant meets the hygiene standards, it will be allowed to display the decal, which provides visitors with extra peace of mind. Random inspections will also be carried out to ensure it continues to comply with the standards. 

2. Smart contact tracing

Using the LeaveHomeSafe mobile app

To minimise the spread of the virus, the Hong Kong Government has implemented a number of contact-tracing measures to identify people who may have been infected.

The LeaveHomeSafe mobile app allows the public to log their arrival and departure times when they visit restaurants or other public places using a QR code.

3. Using smart robots for thorough disinfection

Smart robot disinfecting toilets

When travellers arrive at Hong Kong International Airport, they may see a number of robots roving through the terminal building while cleaning public spaces around the clock.

These robots, created by Hong Kong medical device manufacturer Time Medical Systems, are equipped with ultraviolet light and disinfectant vaporisers. The company says the robots are able to kill up to 99.99 per cent of bacteria and viruses, providing extra protection for visitors arriving in the city.

In fact, robots have been deployed across the city for carrying out deep-cleaning operations in shopping malls, exhibition halls and offices. 

Smart robot disinfecting trains

The city’s efficient metro system has been using a different type of robot to automatically disinfect stations and trains. The robots — 20 in total  — are being used for train cleaning in its depots to ensure the cleanliness of trains while they carry passengers around the financial hub.

4. Long-term disinfection technology

Manual disinfection for commonly touched surfaces

Many people may be concerned that commonly touched surfaces, such as lift buttons, handrails and doorknobs, pose a risk of transmitting bacteria and viruses.

To tackle the problem, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has developed an invisible, anti-microbial coating that can be sprayed onto surfaces to kill bacteria and viruses, including the coronavirus.

At the city’s international airport, the technology is being used in places such as seating areas and on baggage trolleys to help protect travellers’ health.

Outside the airport, the coating is also widely used inside trains, shopping malls and tourist attractions to give visitors greater peace of mind when they explore the city.

5. Community efforts

Girl putting on mask

Besides smart technology and effective policies, many locals have also contributed to the fight against the pandemic as part of their everyday activities. Many have become experts in face masks and alcohol sanitisers, while even fine-dining and hot pot restaurants have introduced takeaway services for customers wishing to maintain social distance from one another.

All restaurants have also implemented a range of health safety measures to protect the wellness of customers. They must conduct temperature checks on customers at the door, while all customers are required to use the 'LeaveHomeSafe' mobile application and comply with the relevant requirements under the 'vaccine pass'. Tables are also socially distanced, and often plastic barriers have been erected between tables.

Additionally, a COVID-19 vaccination scheme is underway in the city. Vaccines are currently available to 6.5 million Hong Kong residents, which equates to 88 per cent of the population.

The city’s collective efforts in minimising the spread of the virus have provided extra reassurances to visitors that they can stay safe and healthy as they explore what Hong Kong has to offer amid the ‘new normal’.

Information in this article is subject to change without advance notice. Please contact the relevant product or service providers for enquiries.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board disclaims any liability as to the quality or fitness for purpose of third party products and services; and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, adequacy or reliability of any information contained herein.

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