Tighter requirements for arrivals

November 29, 2021

(To watch the full press briefing with sign language interpretation, click here.)


The Government today announced that it will impose tighter boarding, quarantine and testing requirements on people arriving from overseas places where COVID-19 cases involving the Omicron variant were detected.


Secretary for Food & Health Prof Sophia Chan made the announcement at a press briefing this afternoon.


She said Hong Kong has reported three imported COVID-19 cases carrying the Omicron variant so far, all of which were identified when the patients were undergoing compulsory quarantine.


"The Omicron COVID-19 mutant strain is actually affecting many parts of the world.


"Hong Kong's very stringent system of boarding, quarantine and also testing requirements has successfully stopped the transmission of the three Omicron cases, that we have identified in our designated quarantine hotel, from going into the community.


"And that also tells us that our existing system of the Designated Quarantine Hotel Scheme is robust and also able to stop any transmission because we have already identified these cases during our testing within the quarantine period."


To prevent the Omicron variant from entering the community, the health chief noted that Hong Kong should implement the most stringent anti-epidemic measures.


In addition to the eight southern African locations announced earlier, the Government will also include all other overseas places that have detected Omicron cases in the list of Group A specified, or high-risk, places.


For places where suspected community transmission of such variant has been found, people arriving in Hong Kong from these places will face tighter quarantine and testing rules.


Those arrivals must stay in the Penny's Bay Quarantine Centre for seven days and get tested every day during the whole quarantine period.


Upon completion of the seven-day quarantine at the quarantine centre, they will be allowed to finish the remaining 14 days of the compulsory quarantine requirement at a designated quarantine hotel.


During their stay in the hotel, they also need to undergo more frequent testing.


Prof Chan pointed out that arrivals from the eight places in southern Africa have already been subject to the new rules.


When answering reporters' questions, she said that the emergence of the Omicron variant in Hong Kong has not affected the discussions with the Mainland on resuming cross-boundary travel.


"Right now, the stringent measures that we have taken, in terms of border control and also the prevention of resurgence of cases into the community, actually align with the Mainland's stringent measures in dealing with the epidemic and also controlling the epidemic.


"As far as the resumption of cross-boundary travel work is concerned, we are actually continuing the preparations of such work accordingly. We do not see that there are major issues affecting such preparation work right now."

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