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Hong Kong wants 80 percent vaccination rate before borders open

A poster advertising the vaccination program outside a community vaccination center administering the BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine imported by Fosun Pharma in Hong Kong, China.Chan Long Hei/Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong will have to achieve a vaccination rate of at least 80 percent before it will consider reopening its borders to mainland China and the international community thereafter, The Standard reported, citing a top government official.

About 70.2% of the population has received at least one shot of the Covid-19 vaccine, while only 17% of elderly individuals above the age of 80 have been inoculated, the paper cited Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip as saying. He was speaking in a radio interview on Saturday. The report didn’t specify if the reopening criteria was for a fully- or partially-vaccinated population.

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Hong Kong has been working toward the reopening of the border with mainland China as both continue to enforce a Covid-Zero strategy of eliminating the virus within their borders. The city announced the rollout of a China-style tracking app on Thursday as officials sought to close a gap in surveillance that had been a sticking point in protracted travel talks.

Hong Kong’s border will remain closed to China at least through Dec. 19, the election day for the city’s local legislature, according to Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Nov. 23.