WHO Lifts Travel Advisory for Travel to Hong Kong

27th May 2003

Good news for Hong Kong this week as the World Health Organisation lifts its advice to avoid travel to the country. The WHO also said it was now safe to travel to the Chinese province of Guangdong as the outbreak has been successfully contained there. However it is maintaining its advice to avoid all but essential travel to the Chinese areas of Beijing, Hebei, Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Taiwan and Tianjin.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board HKTB has warmly welcomed the heartening news of the lifting of the travel advisory for Hong Kong announced on Friday by the World Health Organisation. The country’s tourist, hospitality, spa and leisure industry has been severely hit the SARS epidemic which has made headline news across the world.

“We are changing the travel advice for Hong Kong effective Friday, 23 May,” said Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director-General of the WHO. “I am pleased to note that due to the efforts of the local and national health authorities, with support from WHO and partners, the outbreak in Hong Kong is being contained.”

HKTB Chairman The Hon Mrs. Selina Chow, GBS, OBE, JP, noted that the decision demonstrated the WHO`s confidence in Hong Kong`s high standards of healthcare. “It will give visitors reassurance that they can start planning their visits to Hong Kong again,” she said. “The HKTB has already drawn up its comeback plans, in consultation with its trade partners, and we are now finalising details with the Government.”

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