Hong Kong Announces Plans to Reduce Quarantine

On 21 June 2021, Hong Kong government leader Carrie Lam announced plans to reduce hotel quarantine duration to seven days for Hong Kong residents arriving from countries deemed “high-risk” (Group B) or lower. This category includes Belgium and neighboring countries. Luxembourg is a category C country.

Residents will be eligible if they have been (1) fully vaccinated, (2) test negative for the virus upon arrival (to be verified if a pre-departure test is still required) and (3) test positive for viral antibodies (HK Residents are to be tested in HK at a recognised laboratory before starting their travel. A list of recognised laboratories will be published soon).

Have you already left HK? Although not yet confirmed as accepted for the 7 day quarantine scheme, please check this list for previously approved PCR Testing Facilities in Belgium, we hope to confirm soon if these facilities are approved for the 7 day quarantine scheme too.

Finally, residents will need to undergo two nucleic acid tests during quarantine before self-monitoring for seven days. This will be followed by mandatory testing 12, 16 and 19 days after arrival.

The plan is expected to go into effect on 30 June and perhaps expanded to non-residents sometime in July, when the second phase is implemented. Quarantine reduction will not apply to those arriving from countries deemed “extremely high-risk” (Group A1) and “very high-risk” (Group A2).

To view what countries/regions the Hong Kong government considers as Group A1 and Group A2, please click here.

Unfortunately, in reaction to the obvious question ‘what about people who cannot get vaccinated such as children & other categories’, the Hong Kong government responded that “this is one of the fine details that we have to examine and come to a position on, we will study that and come up with a response.” Meaning that at the moment families with children younger than 12, will still be required to go through the full quarantine time.

A useful SCMP article summarizing what we know so far can be found here.