Testing and self-isolation arrangement for air crew, sea crew and other exempted persons - Frequently Asked Questions
Why is there exemption arrangement?
To maintain necessary operation of Hong Kong's society and economy and to ensure an uninterrupted supply of all daily necessities to the public, the Government has exempted certain categories of persons who fulfilled relevant criteria from the compulsory quarantine requirement upon arrival in Hong Kong in accordance with the Compulsory Quarantine of Certain Persons Arriving at Hong Kong Regulation (Cap. 599C) and the Compulsory Quarantine of Persons Arriving at Hong Kong from Foreign Places Regulation (Cap. 599E). Criteria for the entry of the persons include that it is necessary for the normal operation of Hong Kong or governmental operation, protection of the safety of health of the people of Hong Kong or serving the public interest of Hong Kong.
The Government has cancelled 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 (i.e. cross-boundary goods vehicle/coach drivers, crew members of aircraft, sea crew of cargo vessels loading/unloading in Hong Kong, government officials, etc).
All exempted persons must comply with certain sets of stringent epidemic prevention measures and conditions to mitigate the risk of transmission and coming into contact with the public, including requirements on repeated regular testing and strict restriction on the location of self-isolation or movement so as to adhere to the principle of closed-loop management. These conditions were tightened on multiple occasions in accordance with the global and local epidemic situation and the risk assessment of respective exemption categories.
Arrival at Hong Kong International Airport
What is the testing and self-isolation arrangement of air crew who arrive at Hong Kong via Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA)?
The Government has been reviewing and adjusting the quarantine arrangements applicable to air crew based on a series of considerations, including the latest developments of the global and local epidemic situation, public health risk assessments and the operational needs of the aviation industry.
The prevailing quarantine arrangements applicable to air crew are formulated on a risk-based approach. Locally based air crew members are subject to different arrangements of self-isolation and/or medical surveillance upon their arrival in Hong Kong, depending on various factors, including the types of flights they have operated; while non-locally based air crew members are required to undergo self-isolation at an airport hotel under a closed-loop arrangement upon arrival in Hong Kong until they depart Hong Kong by flight, and are not allowed to enter the local community during their stay in Hong Kong.
Can somebody visit the crew members while they are having self-isolation?
Friends or relatives are not allowed to visit air crew members under self-isolation, so as to reduce infection risks.
Crew members of aircraft who need to commute to and from foreign places for performance of necessary duties are designated by the Chief Secretary for Administration for exemption of compulsory quarantine. How do the officers at border know that I am an exempted person?
An air crew member must present to relevant Government staff the company declaration letter issued by his/her airline.
Sea crew (crew members for crew change for goods vessels for cargo operation)
What is the testing arrangement of sea crew who are arriving at Hong Kong via Airport?
Signing-on crew members arriving at the airport by flights from other places should possess a negative result of COVID-19 nucleic acid test with the specimen collected within 48 hours prior to the scheduled departure time for duty and must take a polymerase chain reaction-based nucleic acid test at the DH’s TSCC and wait for the results there. After testing and immigration procedures, they must use the designated channel to arrive the pick-up point and travel to their vessels by point-to-point transportation.
The details of exemption conditions for crew members of goods vessels have been delivered to relevant shipping agents or companies. For details of the arrangement, please approach respective shipping agents or companies.
Other exempted persons
What is the testing and self-isolation arrangement of other exempted persons who arrive at Hong Kong via Airport?
Exempted persons (other than air crew or sea crew) must undergo COVID-19 testing and wait for the results (“test and hold”) upon arrival at HKIA. After that, they must comply with the exemption conditions as specified in their exemption letter issued by their respective sponsoring Government department/bureau.
For details about the arrangement, please approach the respective sponsoring Government department/bureau.
Arrival at Land Boundary Control Points
What is the testing arrangement for exempted persons arriving at land boundary control points?
With effect from 23 November 2020 –
Exempted persons (except those under regular testing arrangement) must produce documentary proof (in an electronic form specified by the Director of Health or physical form) to show that –
The person underwent a test for the coronavirus disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) the sample for which was taken on the day of arrival or within the three days before the day of arrival;
the test conducted on the sample is a polymerase chain reaction-based nucleic acid test for COVID-19;
the result of the test is the person was tested negative for COVID-19; and
the test was conducted by one of the medical testing institutions mutually recognised by the governments of Hong Kong and Guangdong / Hong Kong and Macao, at the time of the person's arrival. (please also refer to Question 9 of this page).
With effect from 1 April 2022, exempted persons must also be subject to testing on the 5th and 12th day following their arrival at Hong Kong during their medical surveillance period.
What are the medical institutions mutually recognised by the governments of Hong Kong and Guangdong / Hong Kong and Macao?
Exempted persons should allow sufficient time for taking a COVID-19 (RT-PCR) nucleic acid test in one of the medical institutions mutually recognised by the governments of Hong Kong and Guangdong / Hong Kong and Macao. The sample should be taken from the person concerned within 3 days prior to, or on the day of his/her entry into Hong Kong so that he/she can present the proof of a valid negative nucleic acid test result upon arrival in Hong Kong.
The lists of medical institutions that are mutually recognised by the governments of Hong Kong and Guangdong / Hong Kong and Macao are as follows:
Medical or testing institutions in the Guangdong Province
All medical testing institutions in Guangdong Province that can upload negative RT-PCR nucleic acid test results to “Yuekang code”(粵康碼) system; or
The medical testing institutions in Guangdong Province that are recognised by the National Health Commission and can be accessed on nucleic acid testing organisation enquiry（「核酸檢測機構查詢」）function via State Council Mini Portal（「國務院客戶端」小程序）, or that are listed on its official website (http://bmfw.www.gov.cn/hsjcjgcx/index.html)
What will be the consequences if the exempted persons breach the exemption conditions?
The respective organisation must take every practicable measure to ensure that the exempted persons comply with all exemption conditions. Any breach of exemption conditions will result in revocation of the exemption status and the relevant persons will be transferred to the quarantine centres for compulsory quarantine. In addition, exempted persons are subject to medical surveillance during the exemption period. According to section 15 of the Prevention and Control of Disease Regulation, those who contravene the conditions in the Notification of Medical Surveillance will be liable to a fine of $5,000 and imprisonment for six months.