Hong Kong will cut its hotel quarantine period for incoming arrivals to three days from Friday, following weeks of government officials and experts teasing a loosening to the city’s stringent Covid-19 travel rules.
Chief Executive John Lee announced the long-awaited relaxation at a press conference on Monday.
All arrivals must take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on the day of their arrival, as well as on the second, fourth, sixth and ninth days.
Speaking during the same press conference, Health Secretary Lo Chung-mau said that arrangements would be made for arrivals to leave the quarantine hotel after receiving a negative Covid-19 test result on the morning of their third day. Over the following four days, arrivals will undergo four days of “medical surveillance” at home.
They must also take rapid antigen tests daily until their tenth day.
4-day medical surveillance
While undergoing four days of medical surveillance at home, arrivals will be given a yellow code that will restrict them from accessing certain businesses including restaurants, bars, gyms and beauty salons.
They will be allowed to take public transport, go to work, and enter shopping malls, department stores and other premises.
On the seventh day, their yellow code will turn into a blue code. They will still be asked to “self-monitor their health” for three days, Lo said.
The health secretary said that even though authorities had shortened the hotel quarantine period, the government would continue to enforce “strict” Covid-19 testing requirements for arrivals.
“We analysed data regarding the timing of imported cases and – under the principle of preventing imported infections from spreading to the community – assessed how to effectively reduce the effect of quarantine on livelihoods,