Hong Kong Finally Eases Covid Travel Restrictions
Hong Kong has finally eased travel restrictions after more than two years. The global financial hub and tourist destination ended mandatory COVID-19 hotel quarantine for international arrivals on Monday.
Quarantine arrangement upon arrival at Hong Kong now have a “0+3” arrangement. That means no compulsory quarantine will be required.
Travelers must present a negative rapid antigen test 24 hours prior to boarding. There will be three days of medical surveillance during which inbound persons are free to go out but are obliged to comply with Amber Code restrictions under the Vaccine Pass, followed by a four-day self-monitoring period, making it a 7-day observation period in total.
During this period, visitors must avoid establishments such as restaurants and bars. However, they are otherwise free to walk around and explore their favorite destinations. Travelers are also required to take PCR tests on days 2, 4 and 6 after arrival, and take a rapid antigen test every day for the first week after arrival.
A Government spokesman said that the COVID-19 epidemic situation rebounded since June due to the Omicron virus variant. So in response to the latest data and development trends of the epidemic, the Government considered that Hong Kong is equipped with the conditions to relax inbound control measures and to resume the international connection on the premise of striking a balance among risks and economic impetus.
But even with Monday’s changes, Hong Kong falls far behind much of the world in dropping Covid travel restrictions. Being barred from bars and restaurants for three days is not ideal for tourists. Plus there’s the requirement of doing multiple Covid tests in the first week after arriving.
Still, Hong Kong’s Travel Industry Council expects outbound travel to surge as much as 50% for the next few months.