The secretary for constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang and the director of the Chief Executive's Office Eric Chan both tested positive through nucleic acid tests and are currently undergoing isolation, a Hong Kong government statement said on Thursday.
Their infections raised concerns over a possible visit by state leaders for the city's July 1 celebrations, which include the swearing in of Hong Kong's new leader and the anniversary of its handover from British rule in 1997.
It also cast doubt on the robustness of the city's closed-loop arrangement, which requires officials to avoid public engagements and enter quarantine ahead of planned ceremonies.
Chinese officials seem to be taking extra precautions not to catch the disease as China sticks to a byzantine approach of snap lockdowns, mass testing and quarantining to maintain its zero-Covid policy.
Since the outbreak of the Pandemic, Xi has not left mainland China. Although whether he will attend the handover ceremony remains a tightly guarded secret, the Hong Kong government has started to prepare for the arrival of a delegation of state leaders from across the still largely sealed border with the mainland. Now it's a 'preventable disaster' Top Hong Kong officials entered the closed loop system on Thursday, under which they can only travel home and work by private vehicle and must spend a night in a quarantine hotel on the eve of the handover anniversary. They are also subject to daily testing for Covid-19. Mr Tsang and Mr Chan last went out of work on June 22 and June 20. They wore masks and followed relevant disease prevention measures at work, including rapid antigen tests conducted daily with negative results obtained. They have no recent travel history, the government statement said. The statement didn't mention the symptoms of the two officials. Chan is set to become the city's No. On July 1, the 2 official takes over as Hong Kong leader John Lee takes over. Despite high vaccination rates and a reduction in overall cases, the Hong Kong government continues to adhere to its zero covid style policy, maintaining stringent social distancing and contact tracing measures, as well as tight border restrictions, including a mandatory seven day hotel quarantine for all arrivals.