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Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Hong Kong

By Ngai Yeung 29 July 2020

Header image courtesy of Edward Jenner (Pexels)

As the city faces its third wave of COVID-19, with cases surpassing one hundred infections on a daily basis, many are rushing to get tested for the virus. However, though the “what” and “why” of COVID-19 is clear in the public’s minds, the “how” and “where”—not as much. Rather than piece together decentralised bits of information on Google, we’ve done the work for you. Read on to learn about the different methods of testing for COVID-19, where you can get tested in Hong Kong, and the difference between testing in public hospitals and private clinics. Keep this convenient guide bookmarked for future use.

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Photo credit: @paulaphoto (Shutterstock)

Should I go get tested?

While COVID-19 affects everyone differently, the most telling symptoms are fever, tiredness, and a dry cough. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, a sore throat, diarrhoea, nausea, and a runny nose. Read here for a full breakdown. Those who’ve had close contact with confirmed COVID-19 cases should also get tested, such as family members who live in the same household, or if you’ve talked to a recently confirmed case with masks off.

One more reason why you may need to go tested is if you’re travelling abroad, as you may be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival. Public sector testing does not issue these health certificates, so you’d need to go to private hospitals and clinic for them. If you qualify for none of the criteria above, it’s best to stay at home to stay safe and save money, but also because testing capacity is quite overwhelmed at the moment.

What are the different types of tests?

The PCR test—short for polymerase chain reaction—is a highly accurate antigen test that checks for genetic traces of the virus in a sample of your own genetic material. Your DNA sample is obtained in the clinic via a nasal swab, or through a deep throat saliva sample you can do at home before sending the bottle to a lab for analysis. This is the most common and reliable testing method in Hong Kong and it can take one to three days to hear back about your result.

The blood test measures the number of antibodies in your blood, based on the principle that if you’ve been infected with the virus, your body would have developed antibodies to combat it. Patients’ blood is taken from their veins or by pricking their fingers. Some private hospitals and clinics offer this option, but it is less common than the PCR test.

Photo credit: IAEA Imagebank (via Flickr)

Where can I go to get tested?

There are four categories of places you can go to for COVID-19 tests: in the public sector, you can choose from a public hospital or a general clinic, and in the private sector, you can go to a private hospital or a private clinic. The public sector may have longer wait times and might be riskier because of the high demand and how crowded it can get, but it’s guaranteed to be cheaper.

The private sector, on the other hand, may be able to provide quicker results and may fall under your insurance plan (check with your insurance provider). However, its services are costlier, and many don’t take high-risk patients such as those who’ve travelled outside Hong Kong over the past 14 days or those who are close contacts with confirmed cases. If you’re looking for a health certificate to prove that you’ve tested negative for travel or other purposes, you must go to the private sector too as public sector hospitals and clinics would not issue them.

That being said, we’ve broken each of the four places down for your reference.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Public hospitals

You can visit the Accident & Emergency department of any one of these 18 public hospitals, pay the customary $180 consultation fee, and get tested if the doctor determines you’re eligible. The test itself will be free, a nasal swab test will be conducted on the spot, though some choose to stay away from public hospitals because of the long queues, and because their condition doesn’t warrant emergency treatment.

Photo credit: Wright-Patterson AFB

General out-patient clinics 

The most affordable option would be to make an appointment at one of the many general out-patient clinics in Hong Kong, which are all run by the government. Patients only need to pay $50 for a general consultation, deep throat test included. Most have limited hours during the weekends, however, and could be quite full for booking, so plan accordingly.

Photo credit: Gleneagles Hospital

Private hospitals

Appointments can be arranged with a phone call at most private hospitals, while some only accept online bookings. Patients who test positive will be reported to the Department of Health per the government’s orders, and transferred to a public hospital for further treatment.

Hong Kong Island

Name

Eligibility

ProcedurePrice

Canossa Hospital (Caritas)

(+852) 2522 2181

Mid-Levels

Not travelled outside Hong Kong in the last 14 days

Nasal swab or deep throat test. Results available the next day

$1,500 (for test; excludes consultation fee, sample collection fee)

Gleneagles Hospital

(+852) 3153 9000

Wong Chuk Hang

No symptoms; overseas travel historyOnline booking

Package price for consultation, deep throat test, and test report. Results available the next day
$1,950

Hong Kong Adventist Hospital, Stubbs Road 

(+852) 3651 8808

Happy Valley

Not travelled outside Hong Kong in the last 14 daysNasal swab or deep throat test. Results available the next dayConsultation:
$1,000
(for close contacts of a confirmed case)

$450 (normal)

Deep throat: $1,500

Nasal swab: $2,000

Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital

(+852) 2835 8602

Happy Valley

Not travelled out of Hong Kong in the last 14 days; no contact with a confirmed casePackage price for consultation, deep throat test, and test report. Same day report available for samples submitted before 5 pm on weekdays$1,800
Matilda International Hospital

(+852) 2849 1500

The Peak

No symptoms, travel history, or contact with a confirmed casePackage price for consultation and testing. Results in a few days$2,500

Kowloon

NameEligibilityProcedurePrice
Union Hospital 

(+852) 2608 3355


Kwun Tong

Not travelled out of Hong Kong in the last 14 days; no contact with a confirmed case
Package includes consultation, test, 
and lab report. Results available the next day
Deep throat
package: $2,000

Nasal swab package: $2,000

New Territories

NameEligibilityProcedurePrice
Tsuen Wan Adventist Hospital

(+852) 2275 6688

Tsuen Wan

Not travelled out of Hong Kong in the last 14 days; no contact with a confirmed caseNasal swab or deep throat test. Results within a few hours or available the next day, with different price points for the time it takes to get results$1,500–$2,470 (excludes consultation)
Photo credit: Edward Jenner (via Unsplash)

Private clinics

Many private clinics now offer telehealth consultations so that you can see a doctor from the safety of your own home, which also means their eligibility criteria is more open compared to in-person clinics and hospitals. Keep in mind that like private hospitals, private clinics are also obligated to report positive results to the Health Department. A list of all private clinics that offer COVID-19 testing can be found here but we’ve summed up a few of the major ones here.

Hong Kong Island

NameEligibilityProcedurePrice
Lifehub

(+852) 3622 3452

Central

Open to allIn-person or virtual consultation, deep throat test. Results available in two working days$880 (just test and result)

$1,580 (includes consultation and medical certificate)

London Medical Clinic

(+852)  2537 6898

Central

Not travelled out of Hong Kong in the last 14 days; no contact with a confirmed casePhone consultation, choice of PCR or blood test. Results in two to three working daysConsultation: $900 


Saliva test: $1,500
OT&P

(+852) 2155 9055

Locations across the Island
Open to allOnline booking
Phone consultation, choice of PCR, or blood test, followed by sample collection. Results in one to three days

Consultation: $1,050

Tests range from $900 to $2,100

Kowloon

NameEligibilityProcedurePrice
Trinity Health Centre

(+852) 2192 7022

Tsim Sha Tsui

Open to all 

Package price of consultation and deep throat test. Results available the next day or in two to four days

Next-day results: $1,600

Results in two to four days: $950

Locations around Hong Kong

NameEligibilityProcedurePrice
Quality HealthCare

(+852) 8203 8204

Locations across Hong Kong

Open to allChoice between virtual consultation and deep throat test or just the test. Results available in two to three working days$300–$1,250
JP Partners Medical

(+852) 5614 2882

Locations across Hong Kong

No symptoms or travel historyPackage price includes in-person consultation and deep throat test. Results available in two to three working days$950

(extra $100 for saliva sample transportation fee)


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Ngai was born and raised in Hong Kong and is currently studying at university in the United States. You can find her wandering around the city, experimenting with egg recipes and nerding out about the news.

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