The Government of Hong Kong announced movement’s exemption across the whole Chinese territory for arbitrators, mediators or qualified legal practitioners
The Government of Hong Kong announced last Tuesday the mechanism for the following legal practitioners, arbitrators or mediators providing necessary professional services in arbitration, mediation or litigation proceedings to apply for exemption from the compulsory quarantine arrangement. Also, the Department of Justice (DoJ) has started processing applications at the beginning of this week.
The expiry date of the amended Regulation of the Compulsory Quarantine of Certain Persons Arriving at Hong Kong has been extended to June 7, 2020. In this amended, the Chief Secretary for Administration has exempted the following categories of persons from the compulsory quarantine arrangement:
(i) An arbitrator, mediator or qualified legal practitioner acting as a counsel for a party in arbitration or mediation proceedings administered by a relevant body listed in the Appendix or litigation proceedings in court, who returns to Hong Kong from the Mainland, Macao or Taiwan after the provision of necessary professional services in the aforesaid proceedings there; or
(ii) An arbitrator, mediator or qualified legal practitioner acting as a counsel for a party in arbitration or mediation proceedings administered by a relevant body listed in the Appendix or litigation proceedings in court, who travels from the Mainland, Macao or Taiwan to Hong Kong to provide necessary professional services in the aforesaid proceedings in Hong Kong.
The group of persons that is exempted “must only travel to and stay in the area/city where the services are provided for the provision of the intended services as approved, and must take every precautionary measure to ensure personal hygiene and avoid unnecessary social contact”, explained The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in a Press Release.
“In processing the applications, the DoJ may consult the relevant legal professional bodies or arbitration or mediation bodies, as well as the relevant government bureaux/departments, when necessary. The DoJ will issue authorisation letters to the exempted persons, setting out the details and conditions of exemption”.
Actually, travellers to come from the Mainland (China) or Macao would still be subject to the 14-day mandatory quarantine requirement. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is already discussing with authorities in the Mainland and Macao intending to exempt the quarantine requirement for Hong Kong travellers to these places.