The Hong Kong government has removed most of the travel restrictions it imposed over the past two years to curb the spread of Covid-19. So, if you’re thinking of travelling to the city, here’s the lowdown on everything you need to know before you depart for the 852.
#1 – Check if you can enter Hong Kong
Since May 1, all non-residents can enter Hong Kong irrespective of where they have been in the 14 days leading up to their arrival in the city.
#2 – Do I need to book a quarantine hotel?
Since September 26, there has been no hotel quarantine in Hong Kong for inbound travellers, who can head to their homes or a hotel of their own choosing after they leave the airport. This arrangement also applies to arrivals from the Mainland and Macau.
#3 – What to remember when booking your flight?
The five-day flight on flights that brought a certain number of Covid-positive passengers into Hong Kong was suspended on July 7. Inbound travellers can now book flights into the city without worrying about the risk of their flights getting cancelled or rescheduled.
#4 – Do you have to be vaccinated?
Fully vaccinated and unvaccinated Hong Kong residents may enter the city, but unvaccinated visitors cannot land in the SAR unless they can provide medical proof that they are unfit to receive a Covid-19 shot. Arrivals who have recovered from the virus should get one dose of a recognised Covid-19 vaccine at least 14 days before their departure to Hong Kong.
Unvaccinated children aged 11 and below may enter Hong Kong if they are travel with a parent or guardian who is vaccinated. Children aged between 12 and 17 years old may board a flight for the city if they have received at least one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
#5 – Do you have a valid vaccination record?
If you’re required to be vaccinated to be granted entry, you must (1) check this list to see whether the country where your vaccination was administered is recognised as issuing valid vaccination records and (2) check this list to see whether your specific vaccine is accepted as valid.
Your vaccination record must be in Chinese or English, include your correct name (check this carefully as there have been reports of some people having trouble boarding because the name on their passport didn’t match the one on their vaccination record), the date that the vaccine was administered, and the name of the vaccine/marketing authorisation holder/vaccine manufacturer. Don’t forget to carry a printout of your vaccination record.
#6 – Have you filled out a health declaration form?
From December 29, overseas arrivals have the option of filling an online health declaration form before they board their flight, though this is not mandatory. As part of this process, you may submit the result of your pre-departure PCR or rapid antigen test (RAT).
#7 – When to get your pre-departure Covid-19 test?
Travellers must provide proof that they have tested negative for Covid-19, either with the results of a PCR test obtained within 48 hours or a RAT taken within 24 hours of their departure to Hong Kong. They must also keep the reports or photographs of the test results for 90 days.
Remember that the testing window includes any time you may spend in transfer. That is, if you have one or more transfer flights before the flight departing for Hong Kong, your test result needs to be valid for that final flight.
#8 – Required documents if you’ve recovered in the past 90 days
Arrivals who contracted and recovered from Covid-19 outside Hong Kong can bring the following documents before they board their Hong Kong-bound flight:
- Certificate or recovery record (in Chinese or English) showing that you had Covid-19 in the 14-90 days prior to departure and have recovered.
- Test report (in Chinese or English) showing a negative RAT result within 24 hours before departure.
- Written confirmation (in Chinese or English) with the above information if the test report is not in English or Chinese and/or does not contain all the necessary information.
#9 – Getting your post-arrival Covid-19 tests
Passengers who arrive in Hong Kong no longer have to undergo post-arrival PCR tests. They are instead advised to self-administer RATs for five days after they land in the city. The day they arrive is considered Day 0 of their stay in the SAR.
If you test positive for Covid-19 while in Hong Kong and declare your PCR or RAT results to the Centre for Health Protection, you will be asked to isolate at home or a hotel, at an isolation facility or a hospital for a minimum of five days, depending on the severity of your symptoms. If you are a close contact of someone who has contracted the virus, you do not have to undergo quarantine or testing.
Header image credits: wonry via Pixabay