From May, non-residents will be allowed to visit Hong Kong, ending a two-year government ban on entry, as reported by South China tomorrow post. The government has also announced some new rules, along with easing certain quarantine requirements.
These include conducting the rapid test along with PCR on arrival and easing the threshold for suspending incoming flights with Covid-19 infected passengers.
Here’s what we know about the new rules in Hong Kong
Tests upon arrival
Under the new rule, once travelers land in Hong Kong, they are required to take a rapid antigen test (RAT) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test at the airport.
In addition, they are only allowed to leave the airport “test and hold” area with a negative RAT report while they go to their designated quarantine hotel and await their PCR result.
The quarantine obligation for tourists is the same as for residents or citizens.
Reducing inbound flight suspension and route length
In addition, city authorities will relax the limit for suspending their incoming flights carrying infected Covid-19 people from three to five people.
This means that if at least five passengers on board, after arriving at Hong Kong Airport, test positive for Covid-19 or one is infected and at least one or more do not provide all the required documents regarding their medical condition and travel history, then a ban will be triggered.
According to reports, “raising the threshold for suspending inbound flights carrying passengers found to be infected with coronavirus would reduce the likelihood of suspension.” which has entailed restrictions on arrivals since the beginning of the month is still manageable.”
The length of time for blocked flight routes will also be reduced from seven to five days.
While the exact implementation date has yet to be confirmed, the move is meant to be a small gesture to address the problems facing Hong Kong’s airline industry.
So far, more than 10 routes are currently closed. These include those flown by Cathay, Emirates and Qatar Airways. In fact, airlines such as British Airways Plc and Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. postponed their bookings for flights to Hong Kong until the end of the year.
(Main & Featured Image Credit: Simon Zhu/Unsplash)