Upgraded measures for visitors

February 28, 2020

The Department of Health today said it will strengthen health quarantine arrangements on inbound travellers from three regions in Italy after the Government issued the Red Outbound Travel Alert.


Travel alerts were issued on Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and Veneto in response to the latest COVID-19 situation affecting those regions.


The enhanced measures also apply to travellers from Iran as the Government has alerted the public about the outbreak of COVID-19 cases and associated public health risks in that country under the Red Outbound Travel Alert currently in force.


Starting at midnight on March 1, the department’s Port Health Division will issue quarantine orders under the Prevention & Control of Disease Regulation to people who have been to the three Italian regions or Iran in the past 14 days.


Regardless of whether they are Hong Kong residents, they must stay in a quarantine centre upon arriving in Hong Kong.


In view of the latest COVID-19 situations overseas, the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) will update reporting criteria to enhance surveillance of suspected cases.


Medical practitioners should report to the centre any individual with fever, acute respiratory illness or pneumonia for further investigation.


The reporting criteria includes people with travel history to a place with active community transmission of COVID-19 or those who have had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case within 14 days before onset of symptoms.


The centre has issued letters to doctors and private hospitals to inform them of the updated reporting criteria.


Since the end of last December, the accumulated number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the globe has continued rising, with significant figures recorded in neighbouring countries and regions.


The CHP strongly urged travellers and the public to stay alert and maintain strict hand, personal, food and environmental hygiene at all times.


It also advised people to exercise social distancing, both locally and while travelling, to protect themselves from infectious diseases.


Visit the Government's thematic website or the Travel Health Service website for more information on COVID-19.

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