Health Alert: U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong and Macau (August 3, 2021)

Health Alert

Location: Hong Kong

Event:  On August 2, 2021, the Hong Kong government (HKG) announced multiple changes to Hong Kong’s entry and quarantine requirements for inbound travelers.   Fully vaccinated non-Hong Kong residents traveling from the United States who have not spent any time in a “Group A specified place” in the 21 days before boarding a flight to Hong Kong will now be able to enter Hong Kong beginning August 9, 2021, provided they comply with all requisite testing and quarantine requirements.  Unvaccinated children of fully vaccinated individuals may now complete the remainder of their 21-day compulsory quarantine at home, after quarantining in a designated hotel with their fully vaccinated parent.  Hong Kong health authorities have advised that, should an unvaccinated child complete quarantine at home, all members of the household who are eligible for vaccination, including domestic helpers, must be fully vaccinated.  Additional details on Hong Kong’s entry, testing, and quarantine requirements can be found on the Hong Kong government’s website and associated annex (PDF 284 KB).

The Hong Kong government currently classifies the United States as a “medium risk” country.  Individuals traveling to Hong Kong from the United States must comply with the following requirements:

  • All individuals traveling from the United States to Hong Kong must present proof of a negative PCR-based COVID-19 test conducted within 72 hours before departure.  They must also show confirmation of a reservation in a designated quarantine hotel, the length of which depends on the traveler’s vaccination status and serology antibody test.  As all travelers will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival in Hong Kong, the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macau strongly recommends travelers complete their pre-departure test within 48 hours of departure to reduce the chance of a positive test upon arrival.  A list of designated quarantine hotels can be found on the Hong Kong government’s website.
  • Fully vaccinated individuals traveling from the United States must present their vaccination record and confirmation of a room reservation for 14 nights starting on the day of arrival in a designated quarantine hotel.  The name on the traveler’s vaccination record must exactly match the name on the individual’s travel document.  Fully vaccinated travelers who can present a positive antibody test conducted within the past three months by a lab recognized by the HKG can have their compulsoryquarantine shortened to seven days.  The list of HKG approved serology laboratories can be found here (PDF 347 KB).
  • Minor children, under the age of 12, of fully vaccinated parents are still required to quarantine for 21 days, although they only need to remain in the designated quarantine hotel for the length of their parents’ compulsory quarantine.  Unvaccinated children under the age of 12 may complete the remainder of their 21-day compulsory quarantine at home, in self-isolation, provided they have no contact with any non-vaccinated individual.
  • Only Hong Kong residents or vaccinated non-residents may travel to Hong Kong from the United States.  Unvaccinated non-Hong Kong residents will not be permitted to board a flight to Hong Kong from the United States.  A person is considered to be fully vaccinated if they have received the full vaccination course at least 14 days before arrival.

Travelers to Hong Kong from the United States should also be aware of the following points:

  • Individuals arriving from the United States will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival at the Hong Kong airport and will undergo further compulsory tests, the number of which depends on their vaccination status.  As mentioned above, the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macau strongly recommends that individuals traveling from the United States to Hong Kong conduct their pre-departure COVID-19 test within 48 hours of boarding their flight to Hong Kong.  Although the Hong Kong government’s current requirement is for travelers to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure, testing within 48 hours of your departure may reduce the chance that your post-arrival COVID-19 test will yield a different result from your pre-departure test.  The U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macau recommends that travelers, from the time period after their pre-departure PCR test until the boarding their flight to Hong Kong, follow CDC guidance with respect to mask wearing and other best practices for avoiding potential exposure to COVID-19.
  • There have been cases of vaccinated travelers testing positive upon arrival in Hong Kong.  If a traveler tests positive for COVID-19 upon returning to Hong Kong (or has a re-positive test result in cases of individuals who have recovered from a previous infection), the preliminary positive test result will cause local health officials to hospitalize and test the COVID-19 positive individual and quarantine their close contacts.  This quarantine may last from anywhere between seven and 21 days, depending on the variant and their vaccination status.
  • If, during your flight to Hong Kong, you are seated near an individual who subsequently tests positive for COVID-19, health officials may consider you to be a close contact.  
  • Local health officials will implement testing, contact tracing, and quarantine protocols for the places you visited and your close contacts in Hong Kong within the past 21 days if you depart Hong Kong and test positive upon arrival in your new location, or if you return to Hong Kong after less than 21 days abroad and test positive upon arrival. 

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