Registration for the Hong Kong Health Code opened on December 10. The system is meant to facilitate quarantine-free travel between Guangdong, Macau, and Hong Kong. The health code stores information like a negative nucleic acid test result and vaccination records, allowing users to present a green QR code when at the mainland Chinese border if the user is eligible to be exempt from quarantine.
Borders between the three places are yet to open, and no official announcement of when they will open has been made. The Hong Kong government stated in a press release that registration has been opened pre-border opening to allow people to familiarize themselves with the system.
Do I need the Health Code to travel between Guangdong, Macau, and Hong Kong?
You only need to have the Health Code if you want to be exempt from quarantine. Without it, non-vaccinated travellers must quarantine for 14 days and vaccinated travellers for 7 days after returning from Guangdong or Macau. Quarantine requirements for non-Chinese residents entering China without the Health Code are yet to be known.
How do I register for the Health Code system?
To link users to their Health Code as part of the real name registration, the following information must be submitted: name, Hong Kong identity card number and date of issue, contact telephone number, residential address (residents of public rental housing do not need to submit address proof), and proof of residence for verification.
Once the application has been submitted, applicants will receive a PIN through SMS within seven days which will allow them to activate their Health Code account.
If you cannot provide a residential address proof dated in the last three months, you need to wait for a letter containing the PIN to be mailed to you before you can activate your account.
Registration for anyone without a Hong Kong identity card is a bit different.
Can I register for the Health Code if I’m not a Hong Kong resident?
Non-Hong Kong residents can also register for the health code to travel quarantine-free between Guangdong, Macau, and Hong Kong. Here are a couple of notes:
- When going through the online registration, non-identity card holders should submit a copy of the same identity document that will be presented to border authorities when departing from Hong Kong.
- Mainland visitors should register with their ‘exit-entry permit for travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao’, Macau visitors should use their Macau ID, and visitors from all other places should use their passport. Your identity document number should also match the one on your Covid-19 test and vaccination record.
- When asked for address proof (which should have been issued within the last three month), if you don’t have a local residential address:
- Submit an address proof issued by a hotel, university, or other organization (find a full list under point Q2.3 here), and then you’ll receive an account activation PIN by SMS within seven days.
- OR simply indicate that you don’t have proof of address. You’ll receive a letter to serve as a proof of address, which you need to bring along with your identity document, to one of 18 Hongkong Post locations (find a post office at the bottom of this page). Then, you’ll receive an account activation PIN by text within five days.
How do I use the Health Code to travel?
Once registered, when you want to travel quarantine-free to Guangdong or Macau, you must apply for a Health Code on the day of travel.
Travellers are required to have been using the LeaveHomeSafe app for at least three weeks prior to crossing a border. The rationale is that there should be a certain amount of location visit data to upload to the Health Code system, so that if a Covid-19 case is detected, your records can be looked back into far enough. (However, people travelling under the Return2hk or Come2hk schemes are exempt from this requirement.)
Upload your location records to the Health Code system by clicking the ‘Hong Kong Health Code’ option on the LeaveHomeSafe app (the record upload must be done on the day you apply for a Health Code to travel), go back to the Health Code system to complete a health declaration, and then check the criteria ensuring you haven’t had any symptoms in the last 14 days. A green code means you’re good to go, while a red or yellow code means you’re not eligible for a reason which will be displayed under the code (e.g. you’ve had Covid-19 symptoms in the last two weeks, you visited a location where an infection was detected, etc.). Once a Health Code QR code is generated, it is only valid until 23:59 on the same day.
These are all the details that are currently on the official site, and more information should be released when borders actually open.
For more information or to register for the Hong Kong Health Code, visit the official website or call 3142 2330.
Header image credits: Ah Sea MCC, CC BY-SA 4.0