Tighter quarantine exemptions set

November 1, 2021

The Government today announced that the quarantine exemptions for most of the categories of people entering Hong Kong will be cancelled to further prevent the importation of COVID-19 cases and tackle the threat posed by mutant strains.


The tightened quarantine arrangements that will come into effect on November 12 cover consular and diplomatic officers who have to stay at designated quarantine hotels for a specified period upon arrival in the city.


The Government has currently exempted certain people who fulfil specific criteria from the compulsory quarantine requirement upon arrival. The criteria for entry of such people include that it is necessary for the normal operation of Hong Kong's governmental operation, the protection of the safety of health of people of Hong Kong or serving the city’s public interest.


The people whose quarantine exemption will be retained after November 12 include cross-boundary goods vehicle/coach drivers, aircraft crew, sea crew of cargo vessels loading and unloading in Hong Kong and government officials.


Announcing the tightened quarantine exemption this afternoon, Chief Secretary John Lee said: “We have retained the exemption arrangements for the categories of people who are closely connected to the supply of daily necessities to the public and the normal running of society to ensure that governmental operation can proceed as it should so as to ensure overall effective governance.”


All exempted people must comply with a set of measures to mitigate the risk of transmission and coming into contact with the public. Such measures include repeated regular testing and strict restriction on the location of self-isolation or movement.


As for consular and diplomatic officers carrying out governmental duties who have stayed in overseas places during the 21 days prior to arrival in Hong Kong, they must undergo self-isolation at designated quarantine hotels during a specified period. Home isolation is not allowed.


On the other hand, consuls general or representatives in Hong Kong at an equivalent or higher level must be subject to self-isolation at accommodation. They are not allowed to leave the self-isolation location or come into contact with the public throughout the specified period.


To fully implement the closed-loop management of the exempted people while they are conducting designated activities in Hong Kong, the relevant policy bureaus and departments have designated co-ordinators to monitor them.


Additionally, the Food & Health Bureau has requested the bureaus and departments to adopt a checklist to verify that the exempted people under restricted activities have complied with the relevant requirements.


Click here for the tightened quarantine exemption arrangements.

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