The Chief Executive of Hong Kong John Lee Ka Chiu announced this afternoon in a press conference that Hong Kong will end its mandatory hotel quarantine.
On the 23rd of September, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong Lee Ka Chiu states in a press conference this afternoon that Hong Kong will open its borders and end its hotel quarantine measures, following the release of the Taiwanese and Japanese border earlier in the week. Until now, travellers entering Hong Kong were required to observe a 3-day hotel quarantine followed by a 4-day self-monitored medical surveillance period. The conference started at 3:30 pm local time with the Chief Executive announcing the “release of the border” by removing all hotel quarantine measures. The 0+3 entry requirements will replace the 3+4 measures from the 26th of September at 6 a.m. local time.
Introducing 0+3 Entry Measures to replace Hotel Quarantine
With the removal of the 3-day hotel quarantine, travellers arriving by air will be tested on arrival with 24hr Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) test and a 48hr PCR test is no longer required. Travellers boarding flights to Hong Kong are still required to show a negative result for a valid 24 hr before the time of departure. Hong Kong residents are allowed to board flights to Hong Kong with or without 3 shots of vaccines. Non-Hong Kong residents, however, are required to be fully vaccinated or be able to present a medical certificate waiver for the vaccination.
Travellers arriving at Hong Kong International Airport are required to undergo a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) before being released. “Test-and-Go” upon arrival replaces the “Test-and-Hold” measure previously mandated that transfers travellers straight to a quarantine hotel for the 3-day quarantine period. With the new measures, travellers with a negative result can return home for a 4-day self-monitored period and the Hong Kong Health Code would change to amber, indicating the individual is not allowed to enter places such as restaurants and bars.
4th -7th Days
From the 4th day onwards, travellers are still required to conduct RAT on alternate days. With a negative RAT result, the Health Code would change from amber to blue, allowing the individual to enter public facilities.
Hong Kong loses its Asian Hub Status
Earlier this week on Wednesday, IATA (International Air Transport Association) stated that the city has lost its position as a global aviation hub due to it following mainland China’s strict “COVID-ZERO” policies. In the conference held in Doha, IATA Director General Willie Walsh suggested that China’s COVID ZERO policy had harshly jeopardised the city’s competitive edge, and its flag carrier Cathay Pacific is among the victims of the strict measures.
Taiwan and Japan to welcome tourists in October
As announced earlier this week, Japan and Taiwan will lift their restrictions for tourist entry starting from the 11th and the 13th of October respectively. Previously, tourists entering Japan were required to join tour packages in order to travel around the country. Taiwan, however, will have the 0+7 measures to replace the current 3 days quarantine, meaning that travellers will only be required to carry out self-monitored medical surveillance for 7 days upon arrival.
The 0+3 policy will be effective starting from 6 a.m. on the 26th of September. Would the release be able to alleviate the impacts of the closed border for the past years? With Japan, Taiwan, and now Hong Kong opening up for travel, which is your next destination? Let us know below. For more news on Asian aviation, click here!