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Inbound persons are required to undergo an additional compulsory testing, while pre-departure PCR tests are not required for transiting travellers and children aged below three. Further, recovered persons with recovery proofs and RAT negative results are now allowed to fly into Hong Kong.

As the global epidemic situation further stabilises and the COVID-19 nucleic testing services in many overseas places are being scaled back, the HKSAR government announced on 29 May 2022 adjustments in the entry rules and flight penalty as part of the framework of its stringent inbound prevention and control measures to guard against the importation of cases.

Starting from 00.00am on 1 June 2022 (Hong Kong time), pre-departure and post-arrival PCR-based nucleic acid testing arrangements for persons boarding for Hong Kong from overseas places and Taiwan will be fine-tuned, and a penalty will be incurred by airlines that neglect to verify the required documentation of persons boarding flights for Hong Kong and triggering the route-specific flight suspension mechanism.

These are the specific adjustments:

Inbound travellers boarding flights for Hong Kong from o0.00am on 1 June 2022

  • Inbound persons boarding flights from overseas places or Taiwan are only required to present, when boarding, the negative result proof of a PCR-based nucleic acid test conducted within 48 hours prior to scheduled time of departure and with samples collected by a laboratory or healthcare institution (proof of the 48-hour pre-departure nucleic acid test). They will no longer need to present the documentary proof of the ISO 15189 accreditation or recognition by the relevant authority of the government of the place of the laboratory or the healthcare institution.
  • Children aged below three who have stayed in overseas places or Taiwan will no longer be required to present the proof of the 48-hour pre-departure nucleic acid test when boarding. However, upon arrival in Hong Kong, the young children will still be subject to PCR-based nucleic acid tests (normally conducted with stool samples) per the existing arrangement, and be transferred to DQHs for compulsory quarantine by designated transport under closed-loop management.
  • Persons travelling to Hong Kong from overseas places or Taiwan who fall under the category of recovered persons previously infected with COVID-19, can be, as an exception, allowed to board a flight for Hong Kong if they hold the following documentary proof to show that they were infected with the virus 14 to 90 days prior to boarding for Hong Kong and have recovered, and the result of the rapid antigen test (RAT) conducted within 24 hours prior to boarding was negative:
    • A certificate issued by a medical practitioner or a recovery record issued by relevant authorities in Chinese or English, showing that the person was infected with COVID-19 14 to 90 days prior to boarding for Hong Kong and has recovered (the personal information contained on the documentary must match that of the relevant inbound person);
    • A test report in Chinese or English issued by a laboratory or healthcare institution bearing the name of the relevant inbound person matching that in his or her valid travel document to show that:
      1. the relevant inbound person underwent a test for COVID-19, the sample for which was taken from the relevant inbound person within 24 hours before the scheduled time of departure of the specified aircraft;
      2. the test conducted on the sample was a RAT for COVID-19;
      3. the relevant inbound person was tested negative for COVID-19; and
    • If the relevant test report is not in Chinese or English or does not contain all of the above information, a written confirmation in Chinese or English issued by the laboratory or healthcare institution bearing the name of the relevant inbound person matching that in his or her valid travel document and setting out all of the above information should be presented together with the test report.

ALSO READ: Hong Kong reopens its doors to non-residents starting 1 May 2022


Travellers transferring or transiting in Hong Kong from 00.00am on 1 June 2022

  • They are no longer required to present proof of the 48-hour pre-departure nucleic acid test. The Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) will continue to implement relevant prevention and control measures for transfer or transit passengers waiting for their connecting flights at HKIA.

Post-arrival testing arrangements for persons entering Hong Kong on or after 00.00am on 24 May 2022

  • All relevant persons arriving in Hong Kong on or after 00.00am on 24 May 2022 (i.e. 1 June being the ninth day of arrival in Hong Kong) and being discharged early from compulsory quarantine, in addition to being subject to daily RAT and PCR-based nucleic acid test on the fifth day of arrival in Hong Kong during compulsory quarantine in DQHs and a compulsory PCR-based nucleic acid test on the 12th days of arrival in Hong Kong, they will be required to undergo an additional compulsory testing on the ninth day of arrival in Hong Kong at a community testing centre or a mobile specimen collection station, or arrange a self-paid test by professional swab sampling at a local healthcare institution recognised by the government after being discharged from seven-day compulsory quarantine.

Updated penalty (for airlines) triggered by omissions in checking under the route-specific flight suspension mechanism

  • If it is the first instance within a 10-day period for a certain flight to trigger the mechanism due to passengers' non-compliance of the boarding conditions, the AAHK will issue a warning to that airline and impose a penalty of $20,000.
  • If the flights of the relevant route triggers the criterion again within 10 days, the passenger flights of that route run by the relevant airline from the same origin place will be prohibited from landing in Hong Kong for five days.
  • If an airline refuses to pay the penalty, the route will be prohibited from landing in Hong Kong when the relevant criterion is triggered in the first instance in accordance with the existing arrangement.

The Hong Kong government said the epidemic situation in different places will continue to be closely monitored in accordance with the principle of guarding against the importation of cases. The boarding, quarantine, and testing requirements for overseas arrivals will be adjusted based on risk levels as the situation warrants.


ALSO READ: The third stage of Hong Kong's Vaccine Pass comes into effect on 31 May 2022


Image / 123RF

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