Hong Kong-based passenger air crew no longer have to undergo quarantine after they complete a flight, starting September 10. They are free to return to their homes after they test negative on a post-arrival PCR test at the airport. However, they must continue with their closed-loop arrangements while on layovers.

These new quarantine-free arrangements for passenger crew are the same conditions that apply to local cargo crew. They include frequent post-arrival testing, as well as recommendations to avoid mask-off activities in public and large gatherings for three days after their return to the city. Air crew must also keep a log of their activities during this time.

This development comes after the government introduced a new 3+4 quarantine policy by which inbound travellers must spend three days in a quarantine hotel. Once they complete their hotel isolation period, they begin four days of medical surveillance. During this time, they are issued an amber health code to ensure they do not enter certain public premises and they must take frequent PCR tests.

Authorities also extended anti-Covid laws until March 31, 2023. The regulations, which were due to expire on September 30, cover eight emergency regulations that come under the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance. They include mask-wearing in public places, quarantine requirements for all arrivals into the city, and restrictions on public gatherings.

A press release issued on Friday stated that these extensions do not mean that all the current Covid-19 restrictions will necessarily be in force for another six months. “The Government may tighten, relax or even suspend specific requirements and conditions subject to development of the epidemic situation,” said a government spokesperson.

Header image credits: RyanJLane via Canva

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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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