Hong Kong scraps hotel Covid quarantine measures for all travellers

·1-min read
People wearing face masks walk on a street in Hong Kong (AP)
People wearing face masks walk on a street in Hong Kong (AP)

Hong Kong is ending mandatory hotel quarantine for overseas arrivals.

From September 26, all international arrivals will be able return home or to an accommodation of their choice but will have to self-monitor for three days after entering the Chinese special administrative hub, the government said.

“We are aiming in one single direction of allowing people to come with more convenience and they are allowed to go about their activities with maximum possibilities,” Chief Executive John Lee told a press briefing.

People will be allowed to go to work or school but will not be able to enter bars or restaurants for three days.

A pre-flight PCR test, which was required for all travellers to Hong Kong 48 hours before flying, will be replaced by a Rapid Antigen Test.

Hong Kong had been one of the few countries outside mainland China to impose hotel quarantine for international arrivals.

The business sector had claimed the stringent rules threatened Hong Kong’s competitiveness and standing as a global financial centre.

All international arrivals currently spend three days in a self-paid hotel followed by four days of self-monitoring where they are allowed to move around the city.

Hotel quarantine previously lasted as long as three weeks before being eased earlier this year.

Hong Kong still bans public groups of more than four people and masks are mandatory for all, including children as young as two, who must also wear them during school.