Hong Kong to End Hotel Quarantine for International Arrivals – Business Traveler

Hong Kong will further ease its Covid-19 travel restrictions from next week, removing the requirement that international visitors quarantine in a hotel.

Currently, people arriving abroad must complete three days of mandatory hotel quarantinefollowed by another four days of “medical surveillance”, during which they must carry out daily tests.

From September 26, visitors will be able to travel to their residence or accommodation of choice, and will be required to “self-check” for three days.

During this time, they will be able to go to work, a key change for business travelers eager to return to the China Special Administrative Region, but they will not be allowed to enter bars or restaurants.

In addition, the current requirement to submit a negative PCR test before leaving for Hong Kong will be replaced by a rapid antigen test (RAT).

The Financial Times reports that visitors will also be required to take PCR tests at the Hong Kong airport and on the second, fourth and sixth days after arrival, as well as daily RAT tests for a week.

Hong Kong has been subject to some of the strictest travel restrictions in the world since the onset of Covid-19 more than two and a half years ago. At one point, visitors were required to quarantine in hotels for three weeks.

Commenting on the news, Hong Kong’s flag carrier said:

“Cathay Pacific welcomes the latest measures by the HKSAR government to facilitate travel to Hong Kong, especially the decision to lift the hotel quarantine arrangement for passengers arriving in Hong Kong on or after September 26, 2019. 2022.

“These adjustments will help boost travel sentiment, thereby facilitating the gradual resumption of travel activities and strengthening network connectivity to, from and through the Hong Kong aviation hub.

“We intend to add more than 200 pairs of passenger flights in October to regional and long-haul destinations. In view of Japan’s relaxation of travel restrictions for inbound visitors, Cathay Pacific will resume daily flights to Tokyo (Haneda) from November 1 and four times weekly flights to Sapporo from December 1. We will also increase flight frequencies to Tokyo (Narita) to 43 pairs and Osaka to 50 pairs in October.

“As a Hong Kong origin airline, we are fully committed to rebuilding the connectivity of the Hong Kong aviation hub. While we will continue to add more flights as quickly as possible, it will take time to gradually rebuild our capacity.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Xie Xingquan, IATA Regional Vice President for North Asia, commented:

“We welcome the Hong Kong SAR government’s announcement to further ease quarantine requirements. This is a step forward that will help the recovery of the travel and tourism sector.

“The next step is to remove all Covid-19 measures as we have seen in other parts of Asia. That includes the three-day medical surveillance, the PCR test on arrival, as well as the measures that apply to unvaccinated travelers.

“The entire aviation value chain in Hong Kong needs to be prepared for a surge in travel due to pent-up demand, similar to what we have seen in other markets as soon as lockdown measures are lifted. Having the necessary workforce is key to avoiding the problems seen in European and US airports.”


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