Press Releases in Hong Kong

HK to tighten quarantine exemption arrangements

In this picture taken on Oct 30, 2021, a man sits at a table with plastic barriers as a social distancing measure amid the COVID-19 pandemic at a food court in Hong Kong.
(BERTHA WANG / AFP)

HONG KONG – The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government announced Monday that quarantine exemption arrangements will be comprehensively tightened starting Nov 12.

In a statement issued on Monday afternoon, the HKSAR government said it will cancel the exemption arrangements for most of the exemption categories of persons upon arrival in Hong Kong.

The HKSAR government will cancel the exemption arrangements for most of the exemption categories of persons upon arrival in Hong Kong

Only categories that are necessary to maintain the continuing functioning of the community and supply of necessities will be retained, such as cross-boundary goods vehicle/coach drivers, crew members of aircraft, sea crew of cargo vessels loading/unloading in Hong Kong, and government officials.

The HKSAR government will also require consular and diplomatic officers carrying out governmental duties (except for consuls general or representatives in Hong Kong at equivalent/higher level) who have stayed in overseas places during the 21 days prior to arrival in Hong Kong to be subject to self-isolation at designated quarantine hotels during a specified period. Home isolation is not allowed.

On the other hand, consuls general or representatives in Hong Kong at equivalent/higher level must be subject to self-isolation at accommodation and are not allowed to leave the self-isolation location as well as come into contact with the public throughout the specified period.

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"The new measures will strengthen the prevention of importation of cases and tackle the threat posed by mutant strains by further minimizing the chance of transmission of the virus from imported cases into the community so as to foster favorable conditions for resuming cross-boundary travel with the mainland and cross-border travel in the future," a government spokesperson was quoted as saying in the statement.

The HKSAR government also announced that it will strengthen monitoring of exempted persons. 

"Any breach of exemption conditions will result in revocation of the exemption status and the relevant persons will be transferred to the quarantine centers for compulsory quarantine," the spokesperson added. 

Meanwhile, Hong Kong reported one new imported COVID-19 case with a mutant strain on Monday, bringing the city’s tally to 12, 347.

The Centre for Health Protection said in a statement that the case involved a 56-year-old male air crew member who arrived from Saudi Arabia on Oct 23.

The man, who received two Comirnaty vaccine shots in Saudi Arabia, was a close contact of a previous patient and started showing symptoms on Oct 26. He tested positive at the Penney’s Bay Quarantine Centre, the CHP said.

It added that a total of 52 cases were reported from Oct 18 to 31 and all of them were imported.

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Hong Kong's vaccination drive is making steady progress. Since the launch of the government inoculation program in late February, around 4.61 million people, or 68.6 percent of the eligible population, have taken at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, while around 4.42 million have been fully vaccinated. 

With Xinhua inputs