R&D exemptions announced

May 18, 2020

The Government today announced the mechanism for people engaged in technological research and development (R&D) co-operation-related activities in the Mainland, Macau or Taiwan to apply for exemption from the compulsory quarantine arrangement. 


It said the Innovation & Technology Commission has started processing applications.


In accordance with the Compulsory Quarantine of Certain Persons Arriving at Hong Kong Regulation, the Chief Secretary may designate any person or category of people for exemption from quarantine if their travelling is necessary for purposes relating to manufacturing operations in the interest of Hong Kong's economic development.


The Chief Secretary has exempted up to two personnel of each eligible enterprise or institution who have to travel to the Mainland, Macau or Taiwan for conducting R&D-related activities, from the quarantine arrangement.


Eligible enterprises or institutions include the Hong Kong Applied Science & Technology Research Institute, the Automotive Platforms & Application Systems Research & Development Centre, the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles & Apparel, the Logistics & Supply Chain MultiTech Research & Development Centre, and the Nano & Advanced Materials Institute, as well as a tenant, incubate, grantee, or occupant of the Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation or Cyberport.


An exempted person must only travel for the purpose of conducting the technological R&D activities as approved, stay in the city in which the facilities with the approved technological R&D activities are located, and must take every precautionary measure to ensure personal hygiene and avoid unnecessary social contact.


After returning to Hong Kong, the exempted person will be subject to medical surveillance arranged by the Department of Health for a period of 14 days.


Currently, travellers to the Mainland and Macau would still be subject to the 14-day compulsory quarantine requirement imposed by Mainland authorities.


The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government is discussing with Mainland and Macau authorities the mutual recognition of COVID-19 testing results conducted by recognised medical laboratories, with a view to exempting the quarantine requirement for Hong Kong travellers to the Mainland.

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