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Hong Kong lifts inbound quarantine rules effective 26 September 2022

Hong Kong lifts inbound quarantine rules effective 26 September 2022


There will be three days of medical surveillance, during which inbound persons are free to go out but obliged to comply with Amber Code restrictions under the Vaccine Pass.

As the local epidemic situation is gradually being contained, the HKSAR government has announced the lifting of compulsory quarantine requirement for inbound persons from overseas places or Taiwan starting from 26 September 2022 (Monday), as well as rationalising of the arrangement for inbound persons from the Mainland or Macao, in order to provide greater convenience for travellers and resume the international connection. 

Details of inbound control measures implemented starting from 6am on 26 September 2022 (Hong Kong Time) are as follows:

Arriving at Hong Kong from overseas places or Taiwan

Boarding requirements

Presentation of a negative nucleic acid testing report prior to boarding is no longer required. Instead, inbound persons are required to conduct a self-arranged rapid antigen test (RAT) (can be self-administered or by professional swab sampling) within 24 hours prior to the scheduled time of departure and get a negative result.

Boarding requirement of having completed vaccination for Hong Kong residents is lifted. Non-Hong Kong residents aged 12 or above are still required to be fully vaccinated or have obtained a medical exemption certificate before they are allowed to board a flight for Hong Kong. As for persons aged between 12 and 17 on the scheduled day of departure for Hong Kong, they may be deemed to have completed the COVID-19 vaccination course on receiving one dose of the Comirnaty vaccine. Relevant persons who are fully vaccinated, as well as children under 12-year-old accompanied by them, can board for Hong Kong.

Inbound persons are still required to complete the online Health & Quarantine Information Declaration of the Department of Health in advance, including declaration of vaccination records and the results of pre-departure RAT.

Inbound persons are also required to present the green health declaration QR code generated upon completion of declaration (which can be a downloadable version of the QR code, a screen shot or a printout) at check-in for verification by airlines for boarding. The health declaration QR code will still be valid for 96 hours, i.e. inbound persons can submit the declaration form as early as three days before their scheduled arrival time in Hong Kong, then further update the declaration after obtaining the negative result of a RAT.

Arrangements upon arrival

Upon arrival at Hong Kong, the relevant persons will be required to register for undergoing a nucleic acid test by scanning the health declaration QR code. The system will issue medical surveillance notices, vaccination records, and Provisional Vaccine Pass QR codes electronically.

After having their specimen collected for nucleic acid testing, the relevant inbound persons may proceed with the normal arrival process, continue with immigration and customs clearance, and claim their baggage. They are no longer required to undergo an RAT to obtain a negative result before they can be released under the current 'test-and-hold' arrangement.

They can leave the airport by taking public transport or self-arranged transport to return to their home or their hotel of choice.

Quarantine arrangement upon arrival at Hong Kong has been changed to '0+3', i.e. no compulsory quarantine is required.

There will be three days of medical surveillance, during which they are free to go out but obliged to comply with Amber Code restrictions under the Vaccine Pass. They can conduct daily essential activities of lower risks, such as taking public transport, going to work, entering supermarkets and markets, etc., but are not allowed to enter high-risk premises involving mask-off or group activities, as well as other premises requiring key protection, i.e.:

  • catering business premises (including bars or pubs),
  • amusement game centres,
  • bathhouses,
  • fitness centres,
  • places of amusement,
  • indoor places of public entertainment,
  • party rooms,
  • beauty parlours and massage establishments,
  • club houses,
  • clubs or nightclubs,
  • karaoke establishments,
  • mahjong-tin kau premises,
  • indoor sports premises,
  • swimming pools,
  • cruise ships,
  • indoor event premises,
  • barber shops or hair salons,
  • religious premises, 
  • outdoor places of public entertainment,
  • outdoor sports premises,
  • outdoor event premises
  • residential care homes for the elderly,
  • residential care homes for persons with disabilities,
  • schools, and
  • designated healthcare premises.

A person holding an Amber Code who works or studies at those premises, or receives services at the designated healthcare premises, is not subject to the restriction under the Vaccine Pass. However, their entry will subject to any additional rules or requirements imposed by the employers or persons-in-charge of individual premises in accordance with their own needs.

Inbound persons are subject to multiple tests after arrival at Hong Kong:

  • Day 0: nucleic acid test at the airport;
  • Day 2, Day 4 and Day 6: after obtaining a negative result of RAT on respective days, inbound persons should undergo nucleic acid test at a community testing centre or a mobile specimen collection station, or arrange a self-paid test by professional swab sampling at a local medical testing institution recognised by the Government; and
  • During medical surveillance and self-monitoring periods, inbound persons are subject to daily RAT until Day 7 of arrival at Hong Kong.

For relevant inbound persons who consecutively test negative, medical surveillance and Amber Code restrictions on them will end at 9am on Day 3 of arrival at Hong Kong. They will then be subject to a four-day self-monitoring period right afterwards.

For persons who test positive, their Vaccine Pass will be switched to Red Code. Their isolation arrangements will be aligned with that for local cases. Relevant persons should provide nucleic acid tests or RATs information to the Centre for Health Protection through the online platforms.

For persons who arrived at Hong Kong before 26 September 2022 and are still undergoing quarantine at Designated Quarantine Hotels (DQHs) on that day, they are allowed to leave as arranged by DQHs on 26 September. Persons who arrive at Hong Kong within three days are still required to undergo medical surveillance and subject to Amber Code restrictions. Meanwhile, they are required to undergo self-arranged nucleic acid tests and daily RATs in accordance with the above-mentioned testing arrangements.

Requirements for inbound persons from the Mainland or Macao who have no travel history of overseas places or Taiwan in the seven days prior to arrival at Hong Kong

The Return2hk or Come2hk schemes are extended to cover all places in the Mainland and Macao with no quota restriction. Advanced application and nucleic acid test before arrival at Hong Kong are also not required.

Before arriving boundary control points, inbound persons are required to complete Department of Health’s electronic health declaration and obtain a green health declaration QR code.

Inbound persons from the Mainland or Macao are not required to undergo home quarantine after arriving at Hong Kong. However, they still need to undergo nucleic acid test on Day 2 and be subject to self-monitoring in the three days after arrival at Hong Kong.

For persons who arrived at Hong Kong earlier and are undergoing home quarantine, they are no longer required to undergo home quarantine from 26 September 2022 onwards and can then remove their electronic wristbands.

Persons travelling from Hong Kong to the Mainland or Macao are still subject to the special testing arrangement to undergo an additional free rapid nucleic acid test prior to their departure via land boundary control points or the airport. Only those who receive a negative result can continue with their journeys.

Persons subject to Amber Code restrictions will not be allowed to undergo the relevant special nucleic acid test at land boundary control points or the airport, meaning that inbound persons from overseas places or Taiwan are not allowed to transit to the Mainland or Macao within the three days upon arrival at Hong Kong.

ALSO READ: Hong Kong's social distancing measures extended to 5 October 2022

Image / Shutterstock

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