Hong Kong Removes Quarantine Requirements for Overseas Arrivals

By Lars James Hamer, December 13, 2022

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Hong Kong is removing the requirement for all overseas arrivals to undergo three days of health monitoring (‘0+3’) when they arrive in the Special Administrative Region (SAR), Chief Executive John Lee said in a press conference on Tuesday, December 12, 2022.

The city has implemented ‘0+0,’ meaning no COVID-19 restrictions are in place for overseas arrivals. 

Previously, people from abroad arriving in Hong Kong would be given an amber health code on the SAR’s LeaveHomeSafe app (similar to China’s various health codes). 

Anyone with an amber code was prohibited from going to restaurants or participating in events where a face mask wasn’t required (going to a gym or bar, for example). However, they could still take public transport and stay in hotels around the city. 

Now, people who test negative upon arrival to the SAR will be given a blue code, be able to enter restaurants and participate in all maskless activities.

Lee also said that people will no longer be required to scan QR codes using the LeaveHomeSafe app when entering venues around the city. 

The moves came after Lee said on Sunday that the government will fully review the city’s COVID-19 measures, including the SAR’s LeaveHomeSafe app. 

He told reporters at the time that reducing restrictions on people crossing the border was a priority.

So, what does this mean for us on the Chinese mainland?

Sadly, not too much. You can travel to Hong Kong, but upon return to the Chinese mainland, you will need to undergo five days of centralized quarantine followed by three days of health monitoring (‘5+3’) at home.

However, if you plan on traveling abroad and returning via Hong Kong, you will no longer need to undergo three days of health monitoring in the SAR before transiting to the mainland.

Restrictions on the number of people who can return to the Chinese mainland via the Shenzhen and Zhuhai borders from Hong Kong still remain in place. 

If you fly from Hong Kong to the mainland, a COVID-19 test taken in Hong Kong before boarding is still required. 

[Cover image via Wikimedia]

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