HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) – Hong Kong may announce a reduction in the amount of time international travellers need to spend in mandatory hotel quarantine as soon as next Monday (Aug 8), according to people familiar with the matter, with discussions over the scale of the change still ongoing.

While officials had anticipated making an announcement on Friday, it has been pushed back to next Monday at the earliest, since no firm decision has yet been made on the parameters of the cut, according to one person, who asked not to be identified discussing internal deliberations.

The Hong Kong’s Department of Health had no comment. The Chief Executive’s office did not immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment.

Hong Kong currently requires everyone arriving in the city to test negative for Covid-19 within 48 hours of departure and on arrival, and then spend a week isolated in a hotel to ensure an infection was not missed during the incubation period.

The rules have put a stranglehold on visitors to the once booming Asian financial hub and made international travel difficult for those who live in the city.

A briefing for Chief Executive John Lee’s advisers in the Executive Council was called off on Friday morning because of “technical issues”, the South China Morning Post reported, without citing its sources.

A meeting with the hotels that provide quarantine services was also cancelled, the paper said.

One person said top officials are “still discussing” the best way forward, after conducting a scientific review of Hong Kong’s Covid-19 figures to see which option is best.

Officials have discussed cutting the hotel quarantine from seven days to three, four or five, the person said.

Travellers are expected to be told to remain largely at home, or to avoid high-risk venues, for an additional period of time that is expected to add up to the full week.