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Last updated 21 January 2021
After months of dormancy due to the raging pandemic, the travel industry is gearing up for a return to small normalcy with borders reopening, easing of quarantine requirements, and the creation of travel bubbles.
Travellers around the world are now keen to find out if, when and where they can travel abroad. One country that’s been on many travel wishlist is Hong Kong. Can anyone travel to Hong Kong now? What important things do travellers need to know if they are planning to fly to Hong Kong?
Who can travel to Hong Kong?
Hong Kong residents with documents
Currently, entry will be granted only to Hong Kong residents with the following documents:
- Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card or Hong Kong Identity Card that:
- bears the “asterisk” or “A” or “R” codes
- bears the “C” code (provided that it is accompanied by a valid work visa or study visa)
- bears the “U” code (Note: this type of HKID is subject to approval from Hong Kong Immigration prior to acceptance at check-in)
- Hong Kong SAR passport or British National (Overseas) passport (with right of abode in Hong Kong)
- Hong Kong Document of Identity
- All non-Hong Kong residents coming from overseas countries and regions by plane will be denied entry to Hong Kong; and
- Non-Hong Kong residents coming from the Mainland, Macao and Taiwan will be denied entry to Hong Kong if they have been to any overseas countries and regions in the past 14 days.
Other arrivals exempt from travel restrictions
- Passengers travelling from the Chinese mainland, Taiwan or Macao, and have not been to any other country/region in the past 14 days*
- Diplomatic/official passport holders (subject to prevailing visa requirements)
- The spouse and children of Hong Kong residents
- Local government personnel performing official duties
- Personnel approved by the Hong Kong SAR government to carry out anti-epidemic work
- Passengers holding a new entry visa to work, study, establish or join in any business, or to take up residence in Hong Kong
- Passengers falling into one of the exemption categories above must still possess a travel document that would allow them to stay in Hong Kong for a minimum of 14 days, in order to meet the compulsory quarantine requirements. Otherwise, entry will be refused.
Additional requirements are to be met for exemption:
- Those eligible for entry to Hong Kong are required to submit health declaration form. Travellers are encouraged to submit the form online.
- Following their submission, the system will generate a QR code. Save the result and present it to the border control point staff upon entering Hong Kong.
- The QR code is valid for 48 hours for arrival via Hong Kong International Airport (For arrival via land control points, the QR code is valid for 24 hours).
Transit passengers that fulfill certain requirements
Passengers will be able to transit through Hong Kong if:
- Their itinerary is contained in a single booking;
- They meet the entry requirements of their final destination;
- They have their baggage checked through to the final destination;
- They have been issued their onward boarding pass(es) from their origin; and
- The connection time between flights is within 24 hours.
- From 15 August until further notice, passengers starting their journey in the Chinese mainland will be able to transit Hong Kong International Airport provided they meet the above requirements
- Transiting to destinations in the Chinese mainland remains unavailable
- Hong Kong International Airport Skypier Sea-to-Air ferry service (Greater Bay Area to Hong Kong) will gradually resume from 28 October 2020, but Air-to-Sea ferry service will remain suspended
Additional requirements for entering Hong Kong
Passengers who have visited any destination outside China
Passengers who have visited any destination outside China in the past 21 days, must provide a room confirmation at one of the designated hotels (effective 21 December 2020), in English or Chinese for not less than 21 nights, starting on the day of arrival in Hong Kong.
Passengers who have been in or transited through Brazil, Ireland, South Africa or the United Kingdom
- Any passengers who have been in Brazil (effective 23 January), Ireland (effective 23 January), the United Kingdom or South Africa for more than two hours in the past 21 days will not be permitted to enter Hong Kong.
- Any passengers who have transited through these countries for less than two hours, and are eligible to enter Hong Kong, may continue to do so – provided they meet the below requirements for passengers coming from high risk countries. In such cases, passengers will be required to show proof of a hotel reservation at a designated hotel for 21 nights, starting on the day of arrival in Hong Kong.
- For more information, please visit the Hong Kong SAR Government website
Regulations for passengers from high risk areas
The government has set specific rules for passengers coming from high risk areas or have been in high risk areas for the last 14 days, such as Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. These passengers are required to produce a negative nucleic acid COVID-19 test result, hotel room confirmation in Hong Kong, among others.
Do I need to quarantine if I travel to Hong Kong?
All travellers entering Hong Kong, including Hong Kong residents, will have to take a mandatory medical test for coronavirus on arrival and will be required to undergo 14-day compulsory quarantine.
Travellers arriving via the Hong Kong International Airport will be required to proceed to the Temporary Specimen Collection Centre (TSCC) set up in the restricted area of the Airport for collecting their deep throat saliva samples immediately upon arrival. They will need to stay at the TSCC to wait for test results which will be available on the same day before they can proceed with immigration procedures.
In all of the above cases, exemptions may only be afforded to individuals exempted under the “Compulsory Quarantine of Certain Persons Arriving at Hong Kong Regulation.”
Additionally, transit passengers will not be subjected to quarantine, even if said passengers remain in Hong Kong for three days.
Are there flights to Hong Kong now?
A search through Wego confirms that commercial flights are indeed in operation to and from Hong Kong provided by a number of airlines. Travellers departing to Hong Kong must ensure that all of the safety precautions and protocols as mandated by both the airline and the authority.
Hong Kong travel bubble news & dates
Hong Kong and Singapore have announced their first two-way air travel bubble on 15 October, paving the way for leisure and other forms of travel between both places, without necessitating quarantine.
While other details are still being worked out, it is understood that anyone residing within the two countries may freely travel between them regardless of age and nationality. If all goes according to plan, travellers will soon be able to travel between both places in several weeks.