New rules for asymptomatic visitors

April 20, 2020

The Government today announced that starting April 22, all asymptomatic inbound travellers arriving at Hong Kong International Airport must wait for COVID-19 test results at a designated location.


The Department of Health will arrange asymptomatic inbound travellers who need to wait for test results overnight to be temporarily accommodated in its holding centre for test result set up in the Regal Oriental Hotel.


Under the new testing arrangement, passengers arriving by flights in early or late mornings will stay at the department’s temporary specimen collection centre at AsiaWorld-Expo to wait for test results after their deep throat saliva samples are collected there. They will receive the test results on the same day.


As the test results for passengers arriving in the afternoons or at nights will not be available on the same day, they will be taken to the holding centre in the Regal Oriental Hotel on coaches arranged by the department to wait for their test results.


The Government said over the past two weeks, nearly 80% of confirmed COVID-19 cases recorded locally were imported cases or their close contacts. As such, blocking the virus from being imported to Hong Kong from overseas and preventing imported cases from spreading locally are the keys to the Government’s anti-epidemic work currently.


The department will issue quarantine orders to all passengers arriving at the airport in accordance with the relevant regulations. Electronic wristbands will also be arranged for them.


Those staying at the holding centre for test result shall not leave their hotel rooms nor move around in the hotel. Offenders are subject to a maximum imprisonment for six months and a fine of $25,000.


The holding centre is equipped with basic security services to ensure these people are safe and cannot leave without permission. The hotel will provide catering services during the accommodation period.


In general, these passengers will only stay in the hotel for one night. If their test results are negative, they will be allowed to leave the hotel for their homes or a designated place immediately to complete the 14-day compulsory quarantine.


Confirmed cases and their close contacts will be arranged for admission to hospital and sent to quarantine centres directly. The Food & Environmental Hygiene Department will conduct thorough cleansings and disinfections at hotel rooms where confirmed cases stayed.


The Government said this arrangement would not introduce additional risk to the local community where the hotel is located.


It explained that all passengers awaiting test results at the hotel will be asymptomatic when leaving the temporary specimen collection centre. Before testing negative, all inbound travellers will be arranged to take government coaches to check in to the hotel directly.


It added that the risks of these passengers awaiting test results in the holding centre would not be higher than those under 14-day compulsory quarantine in other hotels.

Back to top