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Hong Kong shortens isolation and quarantine time for COVID-19 patients and close contacts to five days effective 9 December 2022

Hong Kong shortens isolation and quarantine time for COVID-19 patients and close contacts to five days effective 9 December 2022


The daily RAT requirement for inbound travellers from Taiwan or overseas has also been reduced to just Day 5 after arrival in Hong Kong. Other existing social measures remain.

The HKSAR government has announced a move to adjust isolation, quarantine and testing arrangements. Starting 9 December 2022 (Friday), persons infected with COVID-19, and close contacts of infected persons, may be discharged from isolation and quarantine on Day 5 at the earliest.

The following adjusted isolation, quarantine and testing arrangements are applicable to all persons, regardless of their vaccination status:

  • If the infected persons obtain negative rapid antigen test (RAT) results on both Day 4 and Day 5 after testing positive (the day following testing or collection of sample is counted as Day 1; if there is no such testing or sample collection recorded, the day of receiving the test result is counted as Day 1), they may be discharged from isolation early after reporting the test result on Day 5.
  • If they obtain one positive RAT result in any of these two days, they are required to undergo RATs and obtain negative results on any two subsequent consecutive days during the isolation period, and report the testing results in order to be discharged from isolation.
  • The quarantine period for close contacts has been adjusted to five days. Close contacts are required to conduct daily RATs during the quarantine period. If they obtain negative results in all the daily RATs, they will be discharged from quarantine on Day 5. If any of the test results is positive, they should report it to the Department of Health immediately.

The daily RAT requirement for inbound persons from Taiwan or overseas has also been adjusted correspondingly:

  • All inbound travellers arriving in Hong Kong on 2 December 2022 (i.e., 9 December being Day 7 after arrival in Hong Kong) and any date thereafter are only required to undergo RATs daily until Day 5 after their arrival in Hong Kong.
  • The existing arrangements of "test-and-go" upon arrival at the airport and nucleic acid test on Day 2 after arrival in Hong Kong remain unchanged.

Other existing social distancing measures will be maintained until 28 December 2022:

The maximum number of persons per table for catering premises is 12, and banquet activities with no more than 240 persons each are allowed. The maximum number of persons per table for bars/pubs is six, and the total number of patrons is capped at 75% of the venue's capacity. All patrons must present proof of a negative RAT result obtained within 24 hours or a negative polymerase chain reaction-based nucleic acid (PCR) test result obtained within 48 hours. Otherwise, they should be denied entry.

Staff members and patrons alike must wear a mask at all times, except in certain circumstances where it is exempted – such as during photo-taking on stage at events held at scheduled premises. Further, live performances and dancing activities are allowed in catering premises and bars/pubs. Relevant performers must conduct regular tests (i.e. two PCR tests every seven days, and an RAT on the same day before entering the premises for performance or rehearsal), wear masks as far as practicable, and keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres from the audience or patrons (or with effective partition).

Performers and the audience or patrons should not mingle on the premises. Participants of dancing activities must wear masks while they are dancing.

Additionally, all patrons must scan the LeaveHomeSafe venue QR code using the LeaveHomeSafe mobile application on their mobile phones/other mobile devices before entering the premises (excluding persons who only order takeaway). Operators of catering premises and bars/pubs are required to use the latest QR Code Verification Scanner mobile application provided by the Government to scan the QR code of a patron's vaccination record, medical exemption certificate or recovery record.

Last, a person must wear a mask all the time when the person is boarding or on board a public transport carrier, is entering or present in an MTR paid area, or is entering or present in a specified public place. Persons are not required wear masks if they are present in outdoor public places in country parks and special areas as defined in section 2 of the Country Parks Ordinance (Cap. 208), or are taking part in a strenuous physical activity (e.g. exercising or jogging) in outdoor public places.

Image / Shutterstock

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