In this April 4, 2020 photo, a passenger wearing a face mask and protective suit, amid concerns of the COVID-19 coronavirus, talks on his phone in the arrivals hall at Hong Kong International Airport. (DALE DE LA REY / AFP)
HONG KONG – The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government on Wednesday said it will enhance the testing requirements for persons arriving from the mainland and the Macao SAR.
In a statement issued on Wednesday night, the government said persons who arrive under the Return2HK Scheme and those who have been fully vaccinated will now be tested three times for COVID-19 on the third, fifth, and 12th day after their arrival in Hong Kong.
For unvaccinated travelers, the number of tests will be increased from the current two tests to five tests on the third, seventh, 12th, 16th and 19th day after their arrival
For unvaccinated travelers, the number of tests will be increased from the current two tests to five tests on the third, seventh, 12th, 16th and 19th day after their arrival, the government added.
Health staff will distribute specimen collection bottles to these travelers when they arrive in Hong Kong and they should collect deep throat saliva samples on their specified testing dates, and return the specimen collection bottles that same day.
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To further minimize the risk of imported cases, the government also required persons who had arrived in Hong Kong from Singapore and Taiwan region before quarantine rules were tightened to undergo compulsory testing on the 12th day or the 16th and 19th day of arrival after completing their quarantine.
The government said it will verify whether these travelers had complied with the compulsory testing notice.
Any person who fails to comply with the testing notice may be fined a fixed penalty of HK$5,000 and the person would also be required to undergo testing within a specified timeframe, the government said.
Failure to comply with the new order could land a person in jail for six months with a fine of HK$25,000, it added.
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Meanwhile, Hong Kong reported one new imported COVID-19 case on Thursday, pushing the city's tally of confirmed infections to 11,849.
In a statement, the Centre for Health Protection said the case involved a 37-year-old woman from Indonesia who showed no symptoms of the virus.
The CHP added that a total of 21 cases were reported from May 20 to June 2 and all of them were imported cases.