Press Releases in Hong Kong

HK eyes shorter quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers

Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee meets with the media at the Central Government Office on April 27, 2021. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)

HONG KONG – Hong Kong is planning to shorten the quarantine period for arriving persons who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee said Wednesday.  

Replying to a query at the Legislative Council, Chan said the government will “in due course” shorten the compulsory quarantine period for vaccinated persons from low-risk, medium-risk, and high-risk areas but they will still have to undergo testing for the virus.    

The government will “in due course” shorten the compulsory quarantine period for vaccinated persons from low-risk, medium-risk, and high-risk areas but they will still have to undergo testing for the virus

“The basic boarding and quarantine requirements will remain unchanged for high-risk and medium-risk places, but the government will supplement in due course new arrangements applicable to fully vaccinated persons and shorten the compulsory quarantine period for the relevant persons from 21 days to 14 days under the ‘vaccine bubble’ concept,” Chan said.

For low-risk places like Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, the compulsory quarantine period for fully vaccinated persons will also be shortened from 14 days to seven days, she added.

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Chan said that once these persons complete their quarantine, they will be required to self-monitor for seven days and undergo compulsory testing.

The government continued to prohibit all passenger flights from India, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines from landing in Hong Kong. It also forbid persons who have stayed in India, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Brazil or South Africa from boarding flights to the city.

Meanwhile, Chan said that the government has started to consider procuring the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines, particularly those that will be effective against mutant strains.

“We hope that the next generation vaccines can have better efficacy in terms of protection. The protection power of the vaccines against mutant virus strains is also an important factor for us when considering to authorize and procure COVID-19 vaccines in the future,” she said. 

“Although we cannot predict with certainty when the next generation vaccines will be available, we have started to discuss with vaccine manufacturers from various places to provide Hong Kong with the next generation vaccine with stronger protection powers against mutant virus strains,” she added.

Chan said studies have shown that the BioNTech vaccine is effective against variants that were found in Britain and Brazil but is less effective against the mutant strain found in South Africa.

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“For the Sinovac vaccine, the drug manufacturer concerned is currently implementing a large scale study in Brazil and more efficacy data against variants will be available,” she added.