Hong Kong’s finance chief could have to miss an upcoming global banking summit in the city, after his office revealed Thursday he had tested positive for the coronavirus.
After being previously isolated because to China’s zero-Covid policy, city authorities are anxious for the international finance conference to demonstrate that Hong Kong is open for business.
Paul Chan, the Financial Secretary, was scheduled to give two talks at the conference, which is expected to host 200 attendees in addition to the leaders of 30 significant financial institutions, next Wednesday and Thursday.
However, it’s not yet certain if Chan will be able to go.
He was due back Thursday after making trade-related trips to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
But he tested positive under a rapid antigen test in Riyadh, his office said.
“(Chan) has cancelled the remaining parts of the visit and will stay in Riyadh for a short while, and seek to comply with relevant health requirements and return to Hong Kong as soon as possible,” it said in a statement.
The office did not immediately respond to AFP questions about his updated itinerary.
Hong Kong has gradually relaxed its pandemic controls, including scrapping mandatory quarantine for new arrivals last month.
But it still maintains many strict curbs long abandoned by much of the world, including rival business hubs.
International arrivals must undergo multiple tests and cannot enter bars or restaurants for the first three days.
Those who test positive for the coronavirus in Hong Kong are currently required to isolate at home, in a hotel room, or at a government isolation facility.
If they test negative on days six and seven, they can come out of isolation after a week.
At the conference in the Four Seasons hotel next week, top banking executives from across the world will experience Hong Kong’s current economic curbs, albeit some regulations will be lifted.
The first three days after arriving, attendees won’t be permitted to enter bars or eateries, but they will be permitted to mingle within the hotel and attend an opening feast at an art gallery.
The CEOs of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Citigroup will speak on panels at the event.
Additionally attending will be senior executives from HSBC, Standard Chartered, JPMorgan Chase, and BlackRock.