Hong Kong has just announced that they will extend their restrictions placed on entry and airport transit first put in place on March 25th until further notice.
When Hong Kong first implemented these measures they were originally valid for 14 days but since March 25th the situation around the world really hasn’t improved at all so the HK authorities took that as grounds to extend the restrictions, this time without an expiration to it.
These are the current Hong Kong Immigration regulations as updated today on Cathay Pacific’s website:
In light of the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, the Hong Kong SAR government has implemented the following travel restrictions for passengers arriving in and transiting through Hong Kong.Please refer to the below restrictions to determine your eligibility to travel.
Effective from 25 March 2020 (00:00 HKT), only Hong Kong residents with following documents will be permitted to enter Hong Kong:
- Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card
- Hong Kong SAR passport or British National (Overseas) passport (with right of abode in Hong Kong)
- Hong Kong Identity Card (this needs to be accompanied with a valid work or study visa)
Non-Hong Kong residents will be denied entry into Hong Kong.
Entry restriction exemptions
The following passengers are exempt from the entry restrictions:
- Passengers travelling from Mainland China, Taiwan or Macao SAR, and have not been to other country/region in past 14 days
- Diplomatic/official passport holders (subject to prevailing visa requirements)
- The spouse and children of Hong Kong residents
- Local government personnel performing official duties
- Personnel approved by the Hong Kong SAR government to carry out anti-epidemic work
- Passengers holding a new entry visa to work, study, establish or join in any business, or to take up residence in Hong Kong
Passengers falling into this exemption category must still meet the minimum 14 days intended/permitted limit of stay in order to meet the 14 days of compulsory quarantine requirements – otherwise entry will be refused
Passengers are no longer permitted to transit through Hong Kong International Airport.
All sea-to-air ferry services (Greater Bay Area to Hong Kong) and air-to-sea ferry services (Hong Kong to Greater Bay Area) have also been suspended.
Additional entry requirements
A health declaration form must be completed and submitted to the Hong Kong Department of Health on arrival. These forms are distributed onboard all flights to Hong Kong. Alternatively, passengers can submit their details by filling out the online form, Link opens in a new window operated by external parties and may not conform to the same accessibility policies as Cathay Pacific prior to departure – upon completion, a QR code (valid for 24 hours) will be provided to present to officials on arrival.
Hong Kong SAR residents who have been to the following countries/regions in the past 14 days will be required to undergo 14 days of compulsory quarantine in a government-nominated quarantine facility:
- China: Hubei
- Italy: Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and Veneto regions
- South Korea: Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do
All other passengers who are eligible to enter Hong Kong will be required to undergo 14 days of compulsory quarantine, either at home or a hotel.
According to these rules, passengers travelling from Mainland China, Taiwan or Macao SAR, and have not been to other country/region in past 14 days will still be allowed to enter Hong Kong. If that makes much sense for them is another question especially considering the data coming out of China for COVID-19 infections/deaths.
I’m not surprised countries are now moving to imposing these limits without expiration to avoid having to revisit the rules every few weeks. This will also mean that airlines will no longer schedule any flight connections until the measures are off the tables again.
Hong Kong isn’t the only country, Japan has also renewed their border measures and revoked the expiration date to shift it to “until further notice”.