It is another great day a hear that Hong Kong, the country with one of the strictest COVID-19 rules has scrapped quarantine rules and finally reopened to all tourists under some conditions.
Two days ago, Japan finally reopened the country to visitors and Hong Kong is eliminating hotel quarantine processes. But there are still some conditions remaining to enter the country.
Hong Kong Scraps Hotel Quarnatine
Starting September 26, 2022, Hong Kong will no longer require hotel quarantine for all tourists. This hotel quarantine regulation was enforced for the past two and a half years with up to 21 days in the past though it reduced to 3 days right now.
Removing the hotel quarantine is a great news but there follows a some restrictions when entering the country. Based from a press relesase from Hong Kong Government:
- Presentation of a negative nucleic acid testing report prior to boarding will no longer be required. Instead, a declaration of the negative result of a self-arranged rapid antigen test (RAT) conducted within 24 hours prior to the scheduled time of departure should be made via the online Health & Quarantine Information Declaration of the Department of Health.
- Boarding requirement of having completed vaccination for Hong Kong residents will be lifted. Non-Hong Kong residents aged 12 or above will still be required to be fully vaccinated or have obtained a medical exemption certificate before they are allowed to board a flight for Hong Kong.
- “Test-and-go” arrangement will be implemented at the Hong Kong International Airport.
- Quarantine arrangement upon arrival at Hong Kong will be changed to “0+3”, i.e. no compulsory quarantine will be required. 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.
- Nucleic acid tests at community testing centres, mobile testing stations or other recognised institutions on Day 2, Day 4 and Day 6 (the day of arrival is Day 0) will be required upon arrival at Hong Kong, supplemented by daily RATs from Day 1 to Day 7.
So tourists can enter Hong Kong and travel around when they arrive but during the first three days they are not able to enter malls, restaurants (dine-in), bars and public area that require a vaccine pass.
New Policy Will Not Attract Short-Term Tourists
In the past Hong Kong was infamous for its zero tolerance policy to citizens and visitors. But as a country that depends on toursits as well, I think the gorvenment made a desicion to ease the restrictions to attract more tourists to improve the economic situations.
But with the three days self surveillance period on effect, this will not attract many short-term visitors. As for me, I don’t really stay in one country for more than three days so there wil be no point of visiting and no able to enter restaurants and mall while staying in Hong Kong. Of course the story is different for long-term visitors who has friends and familes in Hong Kong or those who hae business as they can stay longer.
Hong Kong has finally reopened quarnatine free but with some restrictions whereas a negative test result is needed prior to depart and sisitors are not allowed to enter public places for three days after arrival.
This is a great improvement for Hong Kong for the first time but still compared to other countires which fully opened, it sure is still falling behind.