Traveling to Hong Kong: Updated Rules & Restrictions

Hong Kong has finally lifted the requirement for mandatory hotel quarantine for all visitors. If you’re planning a trip there soon, there are still a few things to keep in mind. Read on for our guide to traveling to Hong Kong from 26 September.

Hong Kong —a favorite destination among travelers worldwide — is one of the slower and more cautious cities to welcome back travelers. However, the moment the world has been waiting for has finally arrived: travelers can once again visit Hong Kong, without the requirement to quarantine in a hotel. Yes, you read that right! After a long hiatus of two years, Hong Kong has finally eliminated its mandatory three-day hotel quarantine. In addition, Hong Kong is also easing testing rules, thereby ending one of the world’s last strict pandemic-era travel quarantine measures. The lifting of Hong Kong travel restrictions will surely bring many visitors to the city. However, visitors traveling to Hong Kong must still abide by the following rules.

A Guide to Traveling to Hong Kong from 26 September 2022

Hong Kong has implemented a ‘0+3’ period in which visitors would be expected to self-monitor for symptoms over three days. And while you will be allowed to step out of your hotels and homes during this time, you will be restricted from entering certain public places like shopping malls, bars and restaurants.

The ‘0+3’ medical surveillance period restricts movement within the city

After landing in Hong Kong, you will need to download the Leave Home Safe app (available on Google Play and Apple Store). After downloading, you will receive an ‘Amber Code’ reflecting on your application. The Amber Code restricts entry to public places, including restaurants, lounges, bars and clubs, gyms, swimming pools, salons and spas. However, you can take public transport to work or pick up groceries from supermarkets.

Once your ‘0+3’ period ends at 9 am on Day 3 since arrival, your code will turn blue, after which you can move around without any restrictions.

hong kong hotel quarantine travel
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Non-vaccinated overseas passengers cannot travel to Hong Kong

You need to be fully vaccinated to enter Hong Kong right now. If you cannot get your Covid-19 vaccination for medical reasons, you must carry valid proof. That said, Hong Kong residents wishing to return to the city do not need vaccination proof. The government also allows entry of travelers who have recovered from COVID-19 14 to 90 days before boarding the flight.

Testing and other rules before boarding a flight

In anticipation of the increased interest and surge in demand, airlines are also adding more flights to Hong Kong. For instance, Cathay Pacific is adding more than 200 flights in October. So, are you boarding a flight to Hong Kong? According to the updated rules, you will no longer require to take a PCR test before boarding. Instead, you must take a rapid antigen test 24 hours before boarding.

Apart from the mandatory vaccine and testing Hong Kong travel requirements, you must also complete the electronic health declaration form before boarding a flight to Hong Kong. Once you have registered, you will receive a QR code that you would need upon arrival at the airport. If you face any issues while filing the form online, you can seek assistance from the airport staff in Hong Kong.

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Rules upon arrival: PCR test and more

Traveling to Hong Kong? Be ready to undergo a PCR test at the airport upon arrival. However, you can pick your baggage and leave for your hotel or residence without waiting for the test result. Visitors must also undergo PCR tests on day two, day four, and day six, respectively. In addition, you would also need to take a rapid antigen test each day for seven days.

During the ‘0+3’ period, you can take the RT-PCR test at Community Testing Center (CTC)mobile specimen collection stations, or any medical testing institutions at your own expense.

Tested positive upon arrival? Here’s what you need to know

If you test positive, unfortunately, you will receive a ‘Red Code’ and would need to isolate yourself at your home or your hotel. The government will send you to the appropriate facilities should you require treatment. In addition, you will get an electronic tag wristband that will track your movements if you defy the rules and attempt to leave your hotel.

COVID test
(Image credits: pixabay)

Although Hong Kong has eased the travel restrictions, you will still have to abide by pandemic rules, including social distancing and mandatory mask-wearing.

Have more queries about traveling to Hong Kong? Visit this link for all the updated travel regulations.

This story first appeared here.