Hong Kong school asks pupils to isolate before possible Xi Jinping visit

Meals, transportation and quarantine expenses will be paid by the Hong Kong government. PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - In the latest sign that Chinese President Xi Jinping will soon be making his first trip outside of the mainland in years, a Hong Kong school is asking some of its pupils to undergo a week-long hotel quarantine to greet visiting dignitaries.

The HKFEW Wong Cho Bau School informed parents on Thursday (June 9) that its primary level pupils had been invited to "rare honourable missions" that include attending a ceremony on June 30 to welcome unidentified visitors at the airport, as well as an event the following day to send them off, according to a copy of the notice seen by Bloomberg.

Meals, transportation and quarantine expenses will be paid by the Hong Kong government, according to the note.

Vice-Principal Chan Lai-ha confirmed the authenticity of the notice and said pupils will be accompanied by teachers to undergo hotel quarantine from June 23 and isolated students will attend classes via Zoom.

Ms Chan did not say how many pupils signed up and said she did not know who the pupils will be greeting at the airport.

Though government officials have refused to say who is coming, expectations are growing that President Xi, who has not travelled outside of mainland China since January 2020, will be making a trip to Hong Kong soon and deliver a speech for the 25th anniversary of the city's handover to China on July 1.

Hong Kong is preparing to isolate about 1,000 people, including Chief Executive-elect John Lee and his predecessor Carrie Lam, ahead of the anniversary to create a closed-loop system for an unspecified Chinese state leader, the South China Morning Post reported earlier.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.