Cathay Pacific Airways today welcomed the US Center for Disease Control`s (CDC) move to relax its travel notification on Hong Kong in the light of “no evidence of ongoing community transmission” of atypical pneumonia.
The CDC, in downgrading its notification from an “advisory” to an “alert”, is no longer warning people against visiting Hong Kong. It says visitors should maintain hand hygiene, but the routine wearing of masks while in public areas is not necessary.
An official CDC statement said there is “no evidence of ongoing community transmission. The date of onset of symptoms of the last reported case without a known source of exposure occurred on April 30, 2003. More than 20 days, or two SARS incubation periods, have elapsed since that date.”
The World Health Organisation lifted its SARS travel advisory on Hong Kong late May.
Cathay Pacific Airways General Manager Corporate Communication Alan Wong said: “We are encouraged by the CDC`s decision as it represents another stamp of confidence in Hong Kong controlling SARS. The lifting of the advice against `non-essential travel` will help to bring back more businessmen, particularly from the US. Tourists may take more persuading and a general recovery in inbound traffic will take much longer to return to normal.
“Rebuilding Hong Kong`s travel industry will only happen step by step - the first of which must be to restore confidence among the travelling public. As Hong Kong`s carrier, Cathay Pacific is working with the industry and is giving its full support to Government initiatives to draw travellers back to Hong Kong.”