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Xi Jinping visits Hong Kong on his first trip outside mainland China since the pandemic began

Hong Kong (CNN)China's President Xi Jinping will visitHong Kongnext week to commemorate Hong Kong's 25th anniversary. increase. Handing over to China, state media reported on Saturday-leader's first trip from the mainland since the pandemic began.

"Xi Jinping will attend the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to his homeland and the inauguration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government," said Xinhua News Agency.

Confirmation was made at the state's celebration on July 1st this week after two top Hong Kong officials tested positive forCovid-19. He expressed concern about the possibility of a leader visiting. On the anniversary of the delivery from British rule in 1997, the city'snew leader.

According to a statement from the Hong Kong government, Eric Tsang, the secretary of constitutional and mainland affairs, and Eric Chan, the chief executive officer, both tested positive for nucleic acids and were quarantined.

Their case, given China's strict Zero-COVID policy, is the robustness of the city's "closed-loop" agreement, which requires Xi to risk entering the city and to be avoided by authorities. Asked a question. Enter quarantine before public involvement and planned ceremonies.

As China sticks to the Byzantine approach of snap lockdown, mass testing and quarantine, Chinese authorities appear to be taking special precautions to prevent the virus from being caught.

Xi has not left mainland China since the outbreak of the pandemic more than two years ago. But even before his visit was confirmed on Saturday, the Hong Kong government had begun preparing for the arrival of a national delegation. A leader since crossing the border with the mainland, which is still largely sealed.

Top Hong Kong officials entered the closed-loop system on Thursday. With this system, you can only move between your home and work by private car, and you have to spend the night at the quarantine hotel the night before your wedding anniversary. It is also subject to daily inspections of Covid-19.

"Tsang and Chan last went to work on June 22nd and June 20th, respectively. They wore masks and related illnesses, including rapid antigen testing performed daily. Following the precautionary measures, negative results were obtained. Recent travel history. " The statement did not mention the symptoms of the two officials.

Chan will be the city's second bureaucrat on July 1st, under the command of the next Hong Kong leader, John Lee.

Despite high vaccination rates and a reduction in the overall number of cases, the Hong Kong government continues to commit to its own "zero covid" style policy, strict social distance and contact tracing measures, And maintains strict border restrictions-includes a mandatory 7-day hotel quarantine for all arrivals.