The government of Hong Kong has just announced that effective Wednesday, December 14th 2022, almost all restrictions for international travelers will be removed, which includes restrictions on movement and the issuance of the Amber (probation-like) health code via app.
International arrivals are still required to undergo two PCR Tests, one on arrival and one on the second day of the visit, as part of Hong Kong’s health policy.
This comes as part of a new strategy that originated in the mainland, and the “Dear Leader” abandoned the zero Covid policy following mass unrest in Chinese cities after three years of lockdowns.
The South China Morning Post reported the new rules an hour ago following an announcement of Hong Kong’s political leadership.
Hong Kong is scrapping its amber health code from Wednesday, effectively lifting all travel restrictions for arrivals into the city who test negative and removing a key source of frustration for travellers who are subjected to curbs during their first three days of stay.
While residents would no longer be required to use the risk-exposure “Leave Home Safe” app, restaurant patrons and entrants to other designated venues would still need to show proof of having received three Covid-19 vaccines, officials on Tuesday said. Compulsory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests will also be scrapped in many occupations and at checkpoints for cross-border travellers. …
Currently, travellers arriving in Hong Kong are put under a much-criticised “0+3” regime where they are issued an amber code on their health app even if they test negative and banned from entering restaurants, gyms and beauty parlours during their first three days.
But with the latest move, Hong Kong is effectively adopting the “0+0” regime, and all incoming travellers who test negative will be given a blue code on their health app and can move about the city freely.
Under the new rules, arrivals who test negative with a PCR kit can immediately go into the community, entering restaurants, bars, theme parks and museums. Those who test positive will still receive a red health code and have to follow the usual isolation protocols. Arrivals will also still need to take a PCR test at the airport and on their third day in the city, and a rapid antigen test (RAT) for five days. …
This is definitely positive for international arrivals as it’ll boost confidence and also gives travelers something to do during their first couple of days in the city. The solution with the Amber code where you could not go to a restaurant, including hotel restaurants and club lounges was completely ridiculous as John experienced it during his trip a couple of months ago.
Here are his articles about the situation on the ground in September:
Hong Kong Entry Requirements Changes & My Entry Experience
- Hong Kong Scraps Quarantine On September 26, 2022 – Requires 3 Days Of Medical Surveillance
- Hong Kong’s Updated Entry Requirements & Health Questionnaire Issue
- Hong Kong No Quarantine Arrival Experience On September 26, 2022
- Hong Kong International Airport & Cathay Pacific The Wing (FIRST) And The Pier (BUSINESS) Lounge Experience On October 1, 2022
Assuming you test negative, you’ll definitely have a much better experience these days than was the case just three months ago.
Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan all opened roughly at the same time, but contrary to Hong Kong, you’re able to engage in all your usual activities from day one in both countries.
I visited Japan in October and Taiwan in November, as well as Korea three times this year. The experience was excellent, with almost no noteworthy inconvenience.
Hong Kong is removing most restrictions for international travelers from tomorrow, 14th December, and that will take a lot of pressure off individuals who just arrived in the city.
The new 0+0 method is excellent for Hong Kong residents, as it allows them to travel abroad, return with minimal fuss, and quarantine back home if they test positive during frequent tests after entering.
I have avoided going to Hong Kong so far due to the strict Covid regime, even under the previous 0+3 rules, and will give it another thought when to visit next.
Hong Kong used to be a very popular transit point for many international travelers, where you might spend a couple of nights savoring the food and maybe getting some clothes tailored.