The Hong Kong Government recently announced a tightening of its border control measures for overseas inbound travellers to prevent the importation of COVID-19 cases. The new measures, taking effect from 9 August 2021, further opens up the city to non-Hong Kong residents to enter.
Under the existing border control measures, non-Hong Kong residents can enter Hong Kong if they are:
- Persons who have only stayed in the Mainland or Macao the 14 days before boarding for Hong Kong.
- Persons who have stayed in low-risk countries, i.e. Australia and New Zealand, the 14 days before boarding for Hong Kong.
- Senior executives of licensed corporations exempted under the Compulsory Quarantine of Persons Arriving at Hong Kong from Foreign Places Regulation (Cap. 599E).
Under the new border control measures, overseas places are categorised into Group A (high-risk), Group B (medium-risk) and Group C (low-risk). Different measures apply to each group.
Australia and New Zealand continue to be categorised as low-risk places where both Hong Kong residents and non-Hong Kong residents who stayed there 14 days before boarding for Hong Kong can enter Hong Kong. It does not matter if such person has been vaccinated or not although a vaccinated person can enjoy a shorter quarantine time and less compulsory testing.
However, starting 9 August 2021, Hong Kong residents and fully vaccinated non-Hong Kong residents from Group B places will also be allowed to board a flight for Hong Kong provided they comply with the following requirements:
- Prior to boarding, they present a negative result proof of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) - based nucleic acid test for COVID-19 conducted within 72 hours before the scheduled time of aircraft departure;
- Present confirmation of room reservation for the required compulsory quarantine duration;
- Present their vaccination record (applicable to vaccinated Hong Kong residents and all non-Hong Kong residents).
Depending on whether such person is vaccinated, the period of compulsory quarantine and amount of compulsory testing will differ. Further, fully vaccinated persons who can also produce a positive result proof of a serology antibody test conducted by a HKSAR government- recognised laboratory will be entitled to an even shorter quarantine time and less compulsory testing.
Places that fall within Group B beginning 9 August 2021 are all counties EXCEPT Australia and New Zealand (which are in Group C), and Brazil, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa and the United Kingdom (which are in Group A).
For details of the new border control measures, please refer to https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202108/03/P2021080200985.htm