Hong Kong is so connected globally that life cannot really return to normal as long as it maintains a seven-day quarantine for airport arrivals. But as the city eases domestic restrictions, it is looking more like a place coming to terms with living with the virus as opposed to pursuing a zero-Covid policy. Indeed Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has said incoming leader John Lee Ka-chiu will need to revisit the issue of quarantine-free travel with the mainland, including whether the city should continue to aim for zero infections. Meanwhile, Lam has confirmed further easing of social-distancing rules next week, and perhaps another round to mark the 25th anniversary of the handover on July 1. If there is to be a trade-off for easing restrictions it could be wider application of the rapid antigen test (RAT), given higher vaccination rates. It has just been introduced at the airport to clear passengers for transport to quarantine hotels ahead of the result of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. Now one infectious disease expert has sparked debate by suggesting people be required to provide negative rapid test results to enter restaurants or other regulated premises. Others have reservations, with one pointing out that the lack of a long-term strategy to address transmission chains, and reliance on “reactionary” testing policies, could further damage the catering industry, already hard hit by social-distancing rules, with what amounted to a direct tax on it. Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the Centre for Health Protection’s communicable disease branch, also said existing arrangements, such as a vaccination record, should be adequate. And that is not to mention the question of verification of a photo of the result of a self-administered rapid test. Nonetheless, rapid testing has become a widely accepted infection control measure to facilitate a return towards normality across society. Globally, many places require an on-the-spot RAT test for big events, which means patrons have to arrive a little earlier. A high-profile example is the Davos economic forum, which is to be held in-person again over five days this month. Perhaps this measure is the kind of trade-off we have to be prepared for in exchange for the return of some form of normality.