After more than two and a half years of stringent pandemic control measures, the Hong Kong government has announced the end of formal quarantine for international travelers.
According to Hong Kong’s leader, incoming travelers will no longer be required to quarantine in designated hotels as the city looks to remain competitive and open up to the world after nearly two years of national closure.
Hong Kong’s chief executive John Lee announced Friday at a news conference that incoming travelers will no longer require a negative PCR test within 48 hours before boarding a plane. It will be necessary for them to present a negative COVID-19 result from a rapid antigen test performed within 24 hours of taking the flight.
Upon arrival, travelers will be required to complete three days of self-monitoring under new rules effective September 26.
Upon arrival, travelers can conduct their self-monitoring for three days at home or any other location of their choice. They will be allowed to go outside during this period, but some areas will be restricted.
You won’t need a negative PCR test to board a plane anymore. The only thing they have to do is get a negative rapid antigen test (RAT) 24 hours before boarding.
Under the city’s digital health code, people will be assigned an amber color during the three-day monitoring period, which will keep them out of bars and restaurants.
The PCR tests will need to be done on days 2, 4 and 6 after arrival, and the RAT tests every day for seven days.
Following Japan’s announcement that it will reopen its borders from October 11, Taiwan said it would end its mandatory quarantine on October 13 if the island has passed the peak of its latest Omicron BA-5 outbreak.
Overseas arrivals in Hong Kong were required to serve a period of mandatory quarantine in designated hotels for nearly two years. With a mandatory quarantine period of 21 days at one point, the city had one of the longest quarantine periods in the world.
In response to a faltering economy, the outflow of foreigners and concerns that Hong Kong, once known as Asia’s World City, would be left behind as the rest of the world moved on from the pandemic, the Hong Kong government has faced considerable pressure from its business community and some public health officials to loosen restrictions.
In a much anticipated press conference held on Friday, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive John Lee announced that the city’s infection numbers have stabilized, allowing the quarantine to be removed.
Lee stated, “We hope to provide Hong Kong with the maximum amount of space in order to reconnect the city and then revitalize its economy.”.