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Hong Kong cuts the quarantine period for inbound travellers

The government of Hong Kong has announced that from the 5th February 2022, the compulsory quarantine period for inbound travellers from overseas destinations will be adjusted to 14 days (from 21 days previously) in designated quarantine hotels (DQHs), to be followed by a seven-day self-monitoring period. Strict coronavirus rules have previously made Hong Kong one of the world’s most isolated cities, with flights down as much as 90%. The government’s press release goes on to state that the scientific data suggests that, while the transmission of the omicron variant is faster, its incubation period is shorter, which accounts for the implementation of the new quarantine arrangements for inbound travellers. As transmission of the omicron variant is already very prevalent around the world, all overseas places will be categorised as Group A. Hong Kong residents who have stayed in a Group A location in the previous 14 days can only board a flight for Hong Kong if they have been fully vaccinated and hold a recognised vaccination record. (Relevant persons who are fully-vaccinated and hold a recognised vaccination record, as well as children under 12-year-old accompanied by them, can board for Hong Kong. In addition, persons who (i) are unfit for vaccination due to health reasons with relevant proof from a medical practitioner; or (ii) have received one dose of recognised COVID-19 vaccine and hold a recognised vaccination record, if they were certified by a medical practitioner that they were unfit to receive the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine because of health reasons after receiving the first dose of vaccine, are exceptionally allowed to board for Hong Kong.) They will have to undergo compulsory quarantine in a DQH for 14 days upon returning to Hong Kong, with six tests to be conducted during quarantine, to be followed by self-monitoring for seven days, and compulsory testing on the 16th and 19th days of arrival at Hong Kong, where the test to be taken on the 19th day must be conducted in a community testing centre. Non-Hong Kong residents who have stayed in Group A specified places will not be allowed to enter Hong Kong. Other existing boarding requirements will remain unchanged, including presenting at boarding a negative PCR test for COVID-19 collected within 48 hours before the scheduled time of departure of the aircraft, and confirmation of room reservation in a DQH for the applicable compulsory quarantine period. The government will continue to closely monitor different countries, and will consider a multitude of risk factors, including public health considerations such as epidemic situation in particular places, testing rate, vaccination rate, volume of travellers and actual imported cases, as well as other local socio-economic factors to adjust the arrangements based on risk levels as each situation warrants.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. The Hong Kong government received nothing but praise for their immediate and decisive reaction to COVID in the early months of the pandemic. Rightly so too, as they experienced relatively few deaths.

    Sadly, they don’t seem to have adapted to the changing situation. These quarantine arrangements are totally out of step with the era of milder omicron and mass vaccination.

  2. This is only a very small step. Can’t see it helping the tourism at all. And people on business haven’t got time to waste in quarantine. I know two families who’ve left Hong Kong for good because it’s all too restrictive.

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