Hong Kong slashes inbound quarantine to ‘3+4’ in welcome boost to travel sector

CHINA (HONG KONG). In a major boost to the travel sector, the Hong Kong government this morning announced a reduction in inbound quarantine to ‘3+4’ – three days in a hotel plus four days of ‘home medical surveillance’, starting 12 August.

Until now, returning residents and other fully vaccinated visitors had to spend seven days in an official quarantine hotel.

The announcement was made at a government press conference this morning. The four days of ‘home medical surveillance’ (or hotel stay in the case of non-residents) allow limited movement into areas where ‘Leave Home Safe’ checks are not mandatory. However inbound travellers will not be allowed during the four days to enter places such as restaurants and bars where checks are compulsory.

If travellers test negative daily (through rapid kits) during the four days, they can use public transport, attend work and visit shopping centres.

The South China Morning Post was first to break the news this morning. Click on the image to read its full report.

Todd Handcock, President Asia Pacific at travel services specialist Collinson, said: “Many of us in the industry have been awaiting this positive news from the Hong Kong government on the easing of the quarantine restrictions. The quarantine policy has led to significant challenges for the industry and we welcome this latest announcement.

Currently, inbound residents and fully vaccinated others have to spend seven days in an official quarantine hotel such as the Regal Airport Hotel where Martin Moodie is currently staying {Photo: Martin Moodie, 5 August}

“At this moment, we expect that people will continue to remain cautious to travel to Hong Kong as they wait for airlines to increase available flights to this market.

“In region, we do expect to see more people booking trips as many markets enter their summer season. Recent data from a Collinson study that surveyed over 5,000 travellers across seven markets in Asia Pacific found that people have an average of three self-predicted return trips planned for 2022 and 55% have expressed an interest in travelling outside of their home market for at least one trip this year.

“Though it’s likely that we won’t see travel return to Hong Kong at the same pace as we have in other Asia Pacific markets until the quarantine is fully removed, it’s certainly a step in the right direction from a travel recovery perspective.”

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