As part of its measures to combat Covid-19, the Hong Kong government introduced a two-colour health code for patients who contract the virus. The code is combined with the LeaveHomeSafe app to regulate the activities of Covid patients so that they do not enter “high-risk places” in the city where they could transmit the virus.

How does the Hong Kong health code work?

The health code is combined with the vaccine pass system on the LeaveHomeSafe app (version 3.4.0 or above), but is separate from the red-and-blue code used to check whether a user has received their Covid-19 vaccinations as stipulated by the government. Users will get the following codes based on their health status:

  • Red: This is for patients who contract the virus in Hong Kong and who are at community isolation facilities or approved for home quarantine. Patients with a red QR code should remain under quarantine at approved premises and may only leave once they complete their five-day-minimum isolation period.
  • Blue: This is for residents in Hong Kong and visitors to the city who have not contracted Covid-19. Blue-code holders can move around the SAR with no restrictions. Once Covid-19 patients with red codes recover from the virus, they will get blue codes.

Anyone who contracts the virus can complete their isolation when they get negative rapid antigen test (RAT) results on Day 4 and Day 5 (or two consecutive days thereafter) after they declare their positive results on this government website. The applies to anyone in Hong Kong, irrespective of whether they have been vaccinated or not.

See also
Amber Health Code And Mandatory Scanning Of LeaveHomeSafe App To End, Starting December 14

The amber code for international arrivals in Hong Kong, a measure that was in force between mid-August 2022 and mid-December 2022, is scrapped.

Which premises are covered by the Hong Kong health code?

People who get a red code cannot enter the following venues covered by the vaccine pass:

  1. Restaurants
  2. Shopping malls
  3. Department stores
  4. Supermarkets
  5. Wet markets
  6. Hair salons or barber shops
  7. Religious establishments
  8. Amusement game centres
  9. Bathhouses
  10. Fitness centres
  11. Amusement centres
  12. Places of public entertainment
  13. Party rooms
  14. Beauty parlours
  15. Club houses
  16. Nightclubs
  17. Karaoke establishments
  18. Mahjong-tin kau premises
  19. Massage establishments
  20. Sports premises
  21. Swimming pools
  22. Hotels or guest houses
  23. Cruise ships
  24. Temporary event venues

Will I get a red health code if I have recently recovered from Covid-19?

Before the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) issues an inbound traveller who tests positive for the virus a red code, it will assess whether the traveller:

  • Provided a negative RAT result within 24 hours before arriving in Hong Kong.
  • Declared a past infection or symptoms on their online pre-departure form.
  • Provided a date of their previous infection.

The CHP will then determine whether the traveller has a recent infection, is a recovered patient, or a repositive case. If they are recovered or repositive, they will not get a red code. They will, however, still have to take their Day 2 PCR test. If the CHP determines the traveller contracted a recent infection, they will get a red health code and an isolation order.

Header image credits: WFtowemH Marsihar via WikiCommons

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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