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COVID-19 Travel Guide – Hong Kong

Tempted to travel to Hong Kong? Here's a precise step-by-step guide

Latest news: 0+3 model

As almost the entire world has opened up to travellers, Hong Kong seems to be picking up in a slower pace.

The HKSAR government has announced that, quarantine model has been changed from “3+4” to “0+3” effective from 26 September 2022. This has significantly streamlined the quarantine process.

This means there is no longer any hotel quarantine. Instead, there is only a home surveillance of 3 nights in total.

Steps in a nutshell:
  1. Meet the vaccination requirement (only applicable to non-HK residents)
  2. Antigen test and fill in online Health Declaration form 24 hours before departure
  3. Boarding: (negative) RAT test result, Health declaration form QR code
  4. Arrival > Scan QR code and do a PCR test on site > Immigration procedures > baggage reclaim > Leave by any means of transport
  5. Home quarantine for 3 nights with possibility to shop and take public transport
  6. End of “home quarantine”: on the 4th day at 9am, the “yellow code” will be gone

Entering Hong Kong by air step-by-step guide

(as of 02 Oct 2022)

*For people travelling from all countries except mainland China and Macao

Picture not describedPicture not described

1. Vaccination requirement (only applicable to non-HK residents)

*There is no longer the vaccine requirement for HK residents entering HK. However, for non-residents, the below still apply.

1. For people never had COVID: having completed the required dosage(s)* of vaccine against COVID-19 from the approved list. E.g. Pfizer (2 doses), AstraZeneca (2 doses), Janssen (1 dose)

2. For people who have had COVID and recovered, children aged 12-17^: 1 dose of vaccine against COVID-19*

Exemption:

  • people who are unfit for vaccination due to health reasons with a valid medical proof
  • people who had the first dose*, then deemed unfit for the complete course of vaccination with a medical proof
  • children aged 11 years or below

*last dose administered at least 14 days before departure
^on the date of departure

Acceptable vaccination record/proof:

  • Issued in Hong Kong or overseas: by relevant authorities/recognised institutions in Chinese or English, with details including the name of the person, administration date(s) and with the name of the vaccine
  • Vaccination record not in Chinese or English (with details mentioned above), with additional written confirmation (in Chinese or English) issued by relevant authorities/recognised institutions with the above details

2. 24 hours before departure: RAT (antigen) test and Health Declaration Form

RAT test*: The traveller should undergo a RAT test within 24 hours before the estimated time of departure. The test can be done at an institute or by yourself. You will only need to confirm whether you have done the test on the Health Declaration Form.

Health Declaration Form: The traveller should fill in the Health Declaration Form by the HKSAR Department of Health. You will receive a QR code after filling in the form. Keep a screenshot or save the result (with the QR code) in your mobile device. You will need to show it for boarding.

N.B. 48 hours before the ETD refers to the plane that lands in Hong Kong directly. If you fly in with indirect flights, the ETD is counted from the last leg of the trip. i.e. If the traveller flies from Milan to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Hong Kong, then one should take the PCR test max 24 hours before the FRA to HKG flight.

*For a person who had COVID-19 14 to 90 days before boarding, a (negative) RAT test result from within 24 hours before departure is already sufficient and PCR test isn’t needed.

You need to present the following in order to board the plane:

  • (Negative) RAT test result (keep a photo in your phone)
  • Health declaration QR code

3. Arrival in Hong Kong International Airport

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Upon arrival, the traveller must undergo a PCR test immediately on site at terminal one. The traveller should register by scanning the QR code (from Health Declaration form).

After the test, the traveller can proceed to immigration procedures and baggage claim without needing to wait for the rest result.

At the arrival hall, one can leave by all means of transportation.

4. Medical surveillance at home for three nights (4 days)

Under this 0+3 model, you are supposed to undergo medical surveillance at home for 3 nights.

During these 4 days, with the “LeaveHomeSafe” (LHS) app, you may still go to school or work, go shopping (including shopping malls, supermarkets, markets), buy takeaway at a restaurant, take public transport, visit outdoor premises – or any other places subject to only passive checking.

However, you may not enter premises that subject to active checking of vaccine pass, such as a catering premise (restaurant, bar etc), the gym or beauty salon, or enter premises requiring key protection (unless you work there). You may not take part in any activities where mask is not required.

Meanwhile, you should still be taking RAT test daily.

Your “LeaveHomeSafe” (LHS) app will show an amber code during this period of time.

Day 1 (day of arrival): RAT test

Day 2: RAT test

Day 3: RAT test

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5. Self surveillance

Once you have completed the 4 days of medical surveillance, the QR code on your LHS app will then change from amber to blue. That means your medical surveillance is completed and may enter premises that subject to active checking of vaccine pass (given that you have a vaccine pass) . If the QR code fails to change to blue, it might due to the app not being updated. It is recommended to update the LHS app to 3.4.0 v. or above.

Meanwhile, you shall continue to take tests for governmental inspections (documented by a photo and to be uploaded):

Day 4: RAT test (at 9am, end of medical surveillance period)

Day 5: RAT test, PCR test

Day 6: RAT test

Day 7: RAT test, PCR test

Day 8: RAT test

Day 9: no test nedded, end of the entire surveillance period

Frequently Asked Questions

LeaveHomeSafe App – what is it and how to use it?

LeaveHomeSafe – Aplikace na Google Play

Since the end of 2021, one must install the LeaveHomeSafe (LHS) app and scan the QR code with the app upon entering most public premises in Hong Kong. The purpose of it is to keep a record to check whether you have entered the same venue as a COVID-19 patient around the same time. And you will receive a notification and health advice if you did.

The app will save the visit records in your phone. When you leave the venue, you need to click “leave” in the app to record your departure time. Likewise, when you get in a taxi, scan or enter the registration mark manually on the app. Click “leave” when you get off.

N.B. When you use the app, it is not necessary that your device is online.

Is it mandatory?

Exemptions are given to children below 12, seniors above 65 and disabled people. For those not in these categories, it is mandatory to scan the QR code at the entrance of the applicable venues. Those venues include wet market, public library, sport centre, government premise, public clinic and hospital, catering premise, fitness centre, shopping mall, supermarket, place of worship etc. The full list of the premises can be found in the legislation cap 599 Schedule 1, Premises Set Out for Section 3(3)(a).

What is a vaccine pass? When to use it?

In order to enter certain higher risk premises, one is obliged to scan the vaccine pass/exemption QR code before entering the venue. Applicable establishments are restaurants, bars, gyms, swimming pools etc. Full list can be found here. In other words, without being fully vaccinated (having the vaccine pass) or in possession of a medical exemption record, one cannot eat at a restaurant, go to the gym and so on.

*From 30 Sep 2022, children aged 5-11 also need to show vaccine pass in order to enter these higher risk premises (Requirement: 1 dose, under 3 months. After 30 Nov, the requirement is raised to the complete course of two doses). The accompanying person’s mobile device can add the child’s vaccine pass. Or the QR code can be printed on a paper for use.

The purpose it to encourage the vaccination rate against COVID-19. You can add your vaccine pass/medical exemption record in your LHS app.

What do the different QR codes in LHS app mean?

Picture not describedRed code: One has been tested COVID-19 positive and cannot enter premises where vaccine pass is applicable. One is supposed to be in quarantine.

Amber code: One entered Hong Kong from overseas. Can enter limited premises.

Blue code: Not COVID-19 positive, not in quarantine, can enter any premises that require LHS QR code, as well as premises that require vaccine pass (given that you have one).

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