Hong Kong COVID-19 Quarantine Requirement Reduced to ‘0+3’ and Rapid Antigen Test Allowed Before Boarding

Hong Kong COVID-19 Quarantine Requirement Reduced to ‘0+3’ and Rapid Antigen Test Allowed Before Boarding
A quarantine officer check the arrival passengers' Health Declaration Forms and other documents at the Hong Kong International Airport on Dec. 13, 2021. (Adrian Yu /The Epoch Times)

The Hong Kong government announced four measures to facilitate the arrival into Hong Kong on Sept. 23, changing the quarantine arrangement for arrivals from “3+4” days to “0+3” days; replacing the requirement for PCR test within 48 hours before boarding with rapid antigen test (RAT) within 24 hours before boarding, and so on. The new measures will be effective from 6:00 a.m. on Sept. 26.

Hong Kong has been following the CCP’s “Zero-COVID” strategy and has implemented a stricter test and quarantine policy for arrivals than most cities worldwide.

Before Aug. 13, inbound travelers were required to isolate in quarantine hotels for 7 days, and home quarantine for 7 days.

Although it was later changed to “3+4” (3 days in quarantine hotels and 4 days home quarantine), various international competitions, events, and exhibitions changed their venue to Singapore, a competitor of Hong Kong and other countries.

Hong Kong has been criticized for losing its international status.

The CCP officials changed their attitude a few days ago, and the Hong Kong government finally decided to ease the pandemic prevention policy.

John Lee Ka-chiu, Chief Executive of Hong Kong, held a press conference in the afternoon on Sept. 23, saying that in response to the declining wave of infection and the need of balancing different factors, four measures to facilitate the arrival to Hong Kong were announced, including those arriving from overseas or Taiwan via the airport, and the quarantine arrangement will be changed from “3+4” days to “0+3” days.

The requirement for passengers to submit a negative PCR result before boarding will be cancelled and will be replaced with a rapid antigen test.

The restriction that Hong Kong residents who are not fully vaccinated cannot board a flight back to Hong Kong is removed.

Quotas are removed for Return2hk (travel scheme for Hong Kong residents returning from the Mainland or Macao without being subject to quarantine ) and Come2hk (travel scheme for non-Hong Kong residents coming from Guangdong Province or Macao to Hong Kong without being subject to quarantine). And it is now valid for all travelers from all parts of Mainland China and Macau to Hong Kong.

All measures will be effective from Sept. 26.

“Test and go”

Lo Chung-mau, Secretary for Health of Hong Kong, added that Hong Kong residents, who are not fully vaccinated, can board their flights back to Hong Kong, but cannot obtain a Provisional Vaccine Pass; non-Hong Kong residents still need to be fully vaccinated or hold an exemption certificate before boarding the plane to Hong Kong.

He continued that the PCR test requirement within 48 hours before boarding was replaced with a rapid test within 24 hours; the Hong Kong airport will adopt a “test and go” arrangement, and passengers can leave the airport after undergoing the PCR test.

People must undergo three days of medical surveillance, and they will be assigned with “amber QR code” in the LeaveHomeSafe contact tracing app.

If their PCR test result is negative, their “amber QR code” will be changed to a “blue QR code” at 9 a.m. on the fourth day.

Inbound passengers are required to undergo PCR testing on days two, four, and six, and rapid antigen testing every day until day 7.

The new measures will be implemented from 6 a.m. on Sept. 26.