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Hong Kong eases quarantine rules for arrivals starting 12 August

By Jianne Soriano 9 August 2022

Header image courtesy of Bady Abbas (via Unsplash)

Following months of anticipation, the Hong Kong government has finally announced that it will ease Covid-19 quarantine rules for inbound travellers starting this Friday, 12 August. In a press conference held yesterday, officials introduced the new “3+4” quarantine format, whereby arrivals to Hong Kong will undergo compulsory hotel quarantine for three days, followed by four days of “home medical surveillance.”

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Photo: Jack Hong (via Shuttershock)

All travellers are required to take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test when they arrive in the city, which is considered as Day 0 of the new quarantine arrangements. Travellers must also take a PCR test on Day 2 and are only allowed to leave the quarantine hotel after receiving a negative test result, which will be released at 9 am on Day 3.

Inbound persons will be required to take further PCR tests on Day 4, Day 6, and Day 9From Day 0 to Day 10, they must also take daily rapid antigen tests (RAT) in addition to the PCR tests on selective days. Those who continue to test negative on their RAT can complete their home medical surveillance on the morning of Day 7.

Arrivals will be given a yellow code, which allows limited movement on public transit, offices, shopping malls, and other premises. However, they will not be able to access restaurants, bars, gyms, and beauty salons where they may be able to take off their masks. Also, they may only go out in public during the home medical surveillance period if their test results come back negative. On the seventh day, the yellow code turns into a blue code, after which travellers are required to “self-monitor their health” for three more days. Those who test positive during quarantine will receive a red code.

Photo: Bady Abbas (via Unsplash)

Some good news for those who already went through the trouble of securing a quarantine hotel: Travellers who have already booked their seven-day quarantine are not required to change their reservation, as hotels will automatically refund the unused nights. Those who are currently in quarantine also do not need to complete the seven-day requirement.

The easing of quarantine requirements comes after more than two years since the start of the pandemic. Hong Kong has since maintained one of the most stringent quarantine rules for incoming travellers. With the new regulation, the Hong Kong government hopes that the city will keep its competitiveness and recover economically.

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Jianne Soriano

Senior editor

Jianne is introverted by nature but adventurous by heart. This Hong Kong-born-and-raised Filipino, who also spent time in Japan, prides herself on being a fangirl. On days when she’s not writing or travelling, you can find her visiting art exhibitions, looking for the best new places to eat in town, or simply trying to learn another language.