March 3 – US airline executives rethinking their “need” to fly to Hong Kong
Hong Kong has placed reopening its border with China above the rest of the countries. President Xi Jinping has stated that controlling existing outbreaks and adhering to the zero-COVID strategy are Hong Kong’s “major responsibilities.”
“Lots of airlines are thinking very hard about the future for Hong Kong — do we still need to fly to Hong Kong?” a top North American airline executive warned.
The representative believes that Singapore could soon overtake Hong Kong as a financial and aviation hub.
For instance, Singapore Airlines last year added a number of new routes, including service to Vancouver and Seattle.
February 5 – Hong Kong to shorten quarantine to 14 days starting Feb. 5
Hong Kong will reduce its hotel-quarantine requirement for inbound travelers, confirmed Chief Executive Carrie Lam last week.
Starting Feb. 5, allowed travelers will only have to spend 14 days instead of 21 in a quarantine hotel preceded by seven days of self-monitoring at home.
“It is not because of pressure from anybody. It’s just because of science…that Omicron has a relatively short incubation period,” said Lam.
Recent outbreaks linked to hotel-quarantine facilities have forced the reimposition of social-distancing and other COVID restrictions.
Entry Restrictions and Requirements
To be eligible to travel through these “travel bubbles”, Commerce chief Edward Yau Tang-wah, considers that providing proof of a negative COVID-19 test before taking off and upon arrival will be needed.
However, he emphasized that the situation is and will keep changing because each destination may have different restrictions, meaning, this is not going to be the only requirement.
Who is currently allowed to enter Hong Kong?
Visitors with Hong Kong residency, travelers that have not been outside China, Taiwan, and Macau in the past 14 days are permitted to enter Hong Kong.
Hong Kong residents coming from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and China.
U.S citizens are allowed if they comply with the requirements below.
Directors and senior executives of the 500 biggest companies in the world who will also need to serve a 14-day quarantine over days to come.
Proof of a negative COVID-19 nucleic acid test taken within 72 hours of the scheduled time of departure.
A hotel booking confirmation for not less than 14 days starting on the day of arrival in Hong Kong.
Important! – The Hong Kong government provides free testing in public hospitals. Find more information about free testing here.
COVID-19 situation in Hong Kong
As of March 3, the region has reported a total of 293,730 confirmed positive cases and 1,168 deaths.
Social activities allowed in Hong Kong during COVID-19
These are the social activities allowed in the territory.
Cinemas, beauty parlors, fitness centers, sports premises, nightclubs and karaoke places have reopened under the “vaccine bubble” regulation.
Requirements to carry out social activities
Face masks are mandatory on public transport carriers, in an MTR paid area, and indoor and outdoor public places.
Check the Hong Kong government’s website for additional information.
Last but not least – Be aware of very strict enforcement of the rules!
Violating the quarantine requirement is considered a criminal offense. Offenders can face imprisonment and a fine.
Not wearing a mask where people are supposed to, will make them subject to an HKD 5,000 fine.
Hong Kong Reopening Tourism: Update Archives
January 15 – Hong Kong has no “reopening timeline” for this year and ban transit flights from 150 countries
According to a top official, Hong Kong has “no definitive timeline” for removing international border restrictions this year.
“It will be hard to address [the question of a timeline], as it will be subject to a lot of conditions and situations . . . I think no one can give you a definite timeline as such,” Yau said.
From Jan. 15 for at least a month, the city will ban transit flights from around 150 countries classified as high risk due to the new Omicron variant.
On Friday, Hong Kong reported nine new coronavirus cases, the lowest daily caseload in more than two weeks. However, officials think is early to say -the outbreak- is over.
December 11 – Hong Kong bans travelers from Finland, Norway and other three countries
Non-nationals from Finland, Ghana, South Korea, Norway and Saudi Arabia are no longer welcome in Hong Kong due to the discovery of Omicron cases in their territories.
Returning nationals from any of these countries will have to agree to a 21-day quarantine at a government-designated hotel.
Along with mainland China, Hong Kong is one of the last places in Asia to maintain a “Zero-COVID” policy. While the city is virtually COVID-free, it also means Hong Kong has been through one of the world’s longest lockdowns ever.
November 11 – Hong Kong to Restart Travel With China in January, official sources say
Hong Kong’s land border with mainland China may reopen with limited capacity in January, according to a Bloomberg report.
The fully reopening is expected to happen by June at the latest since it has started to receive attention from top Chinese officials, official sources have announced.
“Travelers from Hong Kong could go to other cities in Guangdong province after arriving in Shenzhen, if they have valid health codes and meet other requirements, which are being finalized,” the South China Morning Post quoted one source as saying.
As of today, Hong Kong is reporting 0 domestic COVID-19 cases.
October 28 – Hong Kong to cancel quarantine exceptions for business and other special travelers
Hong Kong currently requests visitors to complete a 21-day mandatory quarantine and has some special entry restrictions for business leaders and international diplomats. These -privileges- will be revoked soon.
“Soon we will… announce that most of the quarantine exemptions granted to specific groups of visitors coming from overseas and mainland will be canceled,” informed Lam said Chief Executive of Hong Kong.
The reasoning behind such a decision is that Hong Kong needs to restore travel to mainland China more than anything to. And this appears the only way to do it.
October 7 – Hong Kong-mainland China border would reopen after February, says government
The reopening of Hong Kong’s border with mainland China will stretch on until the closure of the winter Olympics next February, said a government adviser.
Hong Kong is between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, it needs to reopen to international visitors now. And on the other, it must prioritize travel with the mainland, a thing that will not happen anytime soon if the state reopens its borders to the rest of the world.
Opening a free-quarantine travel corridor with the mainland is a “top priority”. “It is more important for Hongkongers to be able to travel to the mainland, for their economy and their livelihoods,” said Chief Executive Carrie Lam at a press briefing on Tuesday.
September 17 – Hong Kong Gay Games postponed due to Covid-19 travel restrictions
Another big international event has been hit by the Covid-19 travel restrictions.
Hong Kong Gay Games founder and co-chair Dennis Philipse has announced the international gay games will be postponed until November 2023.
“We want to make sure that everyone is able to come to the event,” founder and co-chair Dennis Philipse said. “We cannot be in a bubble event, people cannot be in quarantine for 21 days.”
Understandable. As of today, only fully vaccinated Hong Kong residents are allowed to enter the country after spending no less than 21 days in mandatory quarantine.
September 1 – Hong Kong might Introduce a travel “Health Pass”
The hit of the fifth wave of infections is imminent and Hong Kong prepares different strategies to fight it.
One of them is the possible introduction of a “Health Pass” for residents to access restaurants, cinemas, shopping centers, and long-distancetrains and aircraft, suggested the Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip Tak-kuen on Sunday.
“I believe such a policy can undeniably help us control the pandemic situation. But when there are no local cases, implementing such a move may result in a significant backlash from the public,” Dr. Joseph Tsang Kay-yan, chair of the Medical Association’s communicable diseases committee said.
June 28 – Hong Kong to open a travel corridor with mainland China in July
Hong Kong and China’s authorities might resume flights for business people starting with the launch of a travel bubble with Guangdong (China), in July.
China, however, has expressed concerns about Hong Kong’s pandemic management abilities to keep the territory with “zero local infections” which is China’s main requirement.
According to top respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan (China), the travel corridor might be open in July at a limited capacity “if conditions are met”.
Zhong also said Hong Kong has managed to prevent the spread of the new Delta variant thanks to their testing and tracking capacity. This means that the reopening date might be about to be announced. (Source).
June 14 – Hong Kong to extend travel restrictions through at least June 23
Hong Kong has extended its international travel ban and other domestic restrictions through June 23 due to a mild surge in coronavirus cases.
The ban on most non-resident international tourists will remain in place. Exceptions are possible for vaccinated senior executives of 500 pre-approved global companies if they meet some specific criteria. These travelers must take COVID-19 tests and adhere to approved itineraries.
On the other hand, visitors from Macau, Taiwan, and mainland China can visit Hong Kong if they have not visited other places over the last 21 days. Those must agree to spend 14 days at a hotel quarantine facility before being granted entry.
June 1 – Hong Kong to drop quarantine restrictions for vaccinated business executives from June 1
Everybody knows Hong Kong has one of the strictest quarantine policies in the world, -only if- you are not “rich and powerful” as thousands of very upset Hongkongners are saying now following the latest government announcement.
Last Friday, the country announced that vaccinated senior bankers won’t be required to quarantine upon arrival and right after that, it extended this generous invitation to vaccinated directors and senior executives of the 500 biggest companies in the world.
Starting today, companies can ask for permission for their executives to visit and leave the country without quarantine restrictions, said Hong Kong’s Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau in a statement today.
August 1 – Hong Kong is keen to restart international travel, said Financial Secretary
Hong Kong is willing to restart international travel with mainland China and the rest of the world, said Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po.
The secretary also said that the reopening must be on a very cautious basis but did not give any official reopening date.
For now, the government has postponed its plan to bring back double-vaccinated workers from high-risk countries fearing the initiative could risk its so-called travel bubble, which has not started, with mainland China.
The government has not provided any details about the starting of its bubble either.