quarantine

Society

Lack of transparency in quarantine policies in China

For university students, the Winter break is supposed to be relaxing. But for Knightley Liu and me, returning to the mainland from Hong Kong began with a 14-day quarantine in a hotel room ridden with cockroaches and more. With the coronavirus pandemic unabated, quarantine policies are now common worldwide. Mainland China's quarantine policies vary from place to place, depending on local governments. There is a limited number of flights between Hong Kong and major mainland cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. So Shenzhen and Zhuhai, the only two mainland cities that have road connections with Hong Kong, are popular among people who choose to be quarantined elsewhere before they go to their final destinations. To cope with the large group of inbound travellers, Shenzhen and Zhuhai have adopted corresponding measures. Shenzhen now requires travellers to reserve a place, without a choice of hotel before they enter the city, and sets the daily limit to only 2,000 returnees. There are currently only six shuttle buses from the Hong Kong border to Zhuhai daily, each carrying a maximum of 40 people. The Hotel: No Choice After crossing the border into the mainland, Kightley and I were taken to a bus bound for the quarantine hotel, while I received no response when I asked medical officials where I am going. I could only check my location on a map. In Hong Kong, the Department of Health provides a list of hotels that inbound tourists can choose from, with the room rates and various hotel policies such as whether the hotel offers takeaway services. But in the mainland, travellers can choose how much they wish to pay and the kind of facilities which they want to stay in, but not the actual hotel. Knightley, a mainland year three student from Hong Kong,who returned to the …