Govt tightens travel rules

August 17, 2021

The Government today announced that the boarding, quarantine and testing requirements for people arriving in Hong Kong from overseas will be tightened from August 20.


It said the compulsory quarantine period in designated quarantine hotels for inbound travellers who had stayed in medium-risk places could at most be shortened to 14 days if they hold a recognised vaccination record.


The two scientific committees under the Centre for Health Protection and the Chief Executive's expert advisory panel updated the consensus interim recommendation on quarantine requirements for vaccinated inbound travellers at a meeting on August 16.


Experts suggested that the compulsory quarantine period for inbound travellers can only be shortened to 14 days at most, even if they were fully vaccinated and possess positive serology antibody test results.


After making reference to the updated expert recommendations, the Government decided to adjust the relevant boarding and quarantine arrangements from August 20 and enhance the testing requirements for people arriving in Hong Kong from overseas places.


The number of post-arrival tests for people from relevant overseas groups will be increased to at least six times during their quarantine and self-monitoring periods, and the final compulsory test after the completion of quarantine must be conducted in a community testing centre.


Under the new arrangements, the boarding and quarantine requirements applicable to high-risk Group A specified places remain unchanged. Only Hong Kong residents who are fully vaccinated and hold a recognised vaccination record can board flights for Hong Kong.


They are subject to a 21-day compulsory quarantine and should undergo six virus tests during the period.


For medium-risk Group B specified places, Hong Kong residents and non-Hong Kong residents who are fully vaccinated and hold a recognised vaccination record will have a shortened quarantine period of 14 days upon arrival, followed by a seven-day self-monitoring period.


Regarding low-risk Group C specified places, the quarantine period for fully vaccinated Hong Kong residents and non-Hong Kong residents with a recognised vaccination record can be shortened to seven days upon arrival. The relevant quarantine rules remain unchanged except the requirement of recognised vaccination records and the enhanced testing requirements.


The Government noted that it will tighten the vaccination record requirements, under which fully vaccinated people can only have their quarantine period shortened upon presentation of a recognised vaccination record, and the quarantine period can no longer be further reduced even with a positive serology antibody test result.

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