Testing and self-isolation arrangement for air crew, sea crew and other exempted persons - Frequently Asked Questions

Arrival at Hong Kong International Airport


Air crew

  1. What is the testing and self-isolation arrangement of air crew who arrive at Hong Kong via Airport?
    Starting from 22 November 2020, the Government has further tighten the testing and isolation arrangement for air crew members.

    All air crew members who have visited very high risk places (i.e. the specified very high-risk places gazetted under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap.599H)) during the 14 days prior to arrival in Hong Kong:
    • All air crew members must possess a negative result of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test done at an ISO15189-accredited laboratory or a laboratory recognised by the Government where the laboratory is located with the specimen collected within 48 hours prior to the scheduled departure time of the flight to Hong Kong for duty (except local based air crew members and freight crew members);
    • All air crew members must take a post-arrival SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test at the Department of Health's (DH) Temporary Specimen Collection Centre (TSCC) and wait for the results there or any other location as designated by DH upon arrival at HKIA;
    • All non-local based air crew members, including freight crew members, must self-isolate at the hotel room arranged by the airline until departure from Hong Kong on their next duty flight upon availability of their test results;
    • All local based air crew members must take point-to-point transfer and self-isolate until their next duty flight at the hotel room arranged by the airline for the duration of their stay when laying over at the very high risk place;
    • Respective airlines must arrange point-to-point transportation for their air crew members between the airport (or holding location) and their accommodation. The use of public transport is prohibited; and
    • All air crew members must collect and return their deep throat saliva sample at Day-12 upon their arrival in accordance with the instructions for SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test again if their duration of stay is more than 12 days.

    Air crew members who have not visited very high risk places during the 14 days prior to arrival in Hong Kong:
    • Non-local based air crew members who possess a negative result of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test done at an ISO15189-accredited laboratory or a laboratory recognised by the Government where the laboratory is located with the specimen collected within 48 hours prior to the scheduled departure time of the flight to Hong Kong are required to take a post-arrival SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test at the DH's TSCC before leaving HKIA for self-isolation at the hotel room arranged by the airline until departure from Hong Kong on their next duty flight upon availability of the test results. Otherwise, they have to wait for the results at the TSCC or any other location as designated by DH;
    • Local based air crew members must take a post-arrival SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test at the DH's TSCC upon arrival at HKIA and subject to self-isolation at their accommodation until their test results are available;
    • Respective airlines must arrange point-to-point transportation for their air crew members between the airport (or holding location) and their accommodation whilst in Hong Kong. The use of public transport is prohibited; and
    • All air crew members must collect and return their deep throat saliva sample at Day-12 upon their arrival in accordance with the instructions for SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test again if their duration of stay is more than 12 days.

  2. Regarding self-isolation for 24 hours, when does it start to count?
    It starts with the time when the crew members arrive at the hotel room or accommodation as agreed by the airline.

  3. During the period of self-isolation, do the air crew members need to put on electronic wristband for location tracking?
    No wristband will be applied to air crew.

  4. Can somebody visit the crew members while they are having self-isolation?
    Friends or relatives are advised not to enter the place of self-isolation so as to reduce the risk of being exposed to infection.

  5. 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?
    Only air crew members who are able to be identified as crew members on-duty will be exempted from quarantine. Below are means of identification:
    1. Operating crew members who are in uniform AND are able to present the General Declaration (GD) issued by airlines with name/staff ID; or
    2. Positioning crew members who are able to present:
      1. the General Declaration (GD) issued by airlines with name/staff ID; or
      2. a verification document issued by the airline for proof of positioning crew status.

Sea crew

  1. What is the testing arrangement of sea crew who are arriving at Hong Kong via Airport?
    With effect on 29 July 2020, crew change arrangement for all passenger vessels and goods vessels without cargo operation will be suspended. All incoming sea crew members of goods vessels coming to Hong Kong for cargo operation arriving at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) must obtain a negative result of nucleic acid test for COVID-19 conducted at a recognised laboratory within 48 hours prior to boarding. Upon arrival to Hong Kong, they must also submit a deep throat saliva specimen at the DH’s TSCC and wait at the TSCC or other location designated by DH until their test results are confirmed negative. Sea crew members who fail to present any of the three required documentary proof: 1) a negative test report, 2) a letter of certification declared by the shipping companies/agents (that the crew member concerned has been tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid conducted at a recognised laboratory with the specimen collected within 48 hours prior to boarding the flight to Hong Kong, with an emergency local contact phone number for prompt contact with the concerned crew under emergency situation), and 3) an approval letter from the Marine Department, upon arrival will be subject to compulsory quarantine or refusal entry rendering them being not able to board the vessels.

    Shipping companies/agents must arrange point-to-point transfer for the sea crew members. The use of public transportation which will serve the general public at the same time is prohibited. Incoming and outgoing sea crew members must only travel between the vessels and HKIA and should not go into the community.

Other exempted persons

  1. What is the testing arrangement of other exempted persons who arrive at Hong Kong via Airport?
    Other exempted persons (all exempted persons other than air crew and sea crew) who have visited very high risk places during the 14 days prior to arrival in Hong Kong:
    • They must possess a negative result of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test done at an ISO15189-accredited laboratory or a laboratory recognised by the Government where the laboratory is located with the specimen collected within 48 hours prior to the scheduled departure time of the flight to Hong Kong;
    • They must take a post-arrival SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test at the DH's TSCC and wait for the results there or any other location as designated by DH upon arrival at HKIA;
    • Specimen bottles will be distributed to the exempted persons upon arrival. They must collect and return their deep throat saliva sample at Day-12 upon their arrival in accordance with the instructions for SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test again;
    • Except Consul Generals or representatives in Hong Kong and government officials at equivalent/higher level, all other officers must be subject to self-isolation for 14 days at an accommodation arranged by respective organisations; and
    • Respective organisations must arrange point-to-point transportation for the exempted persons. The use of public transport is prohibited.

    Other exempted persons (all exempted persons other than air crew and sea crew) who have not visited very high risk places during the 14 days prior to arrival in Hong Kong:
    • If they possess a negative result of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test done at an ISO15189-accredited laboratory or a laboratory recognised by the Government where the laboratory is located with the specimen collected within 48 hours prior to the scheduled departure time of the flight to Hong Kong, they are required to take a post-arrival SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test at the DH's TSCC before leaving HKIA;
    • If they do not possess a negative result of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test done at an ISO15189-accredited laboratory or a laboratory recognised by the Government where the laboratory is located with the specimen collected within 48 hours prior to the scheduled departure time of the flight to Hong Kong, they must take a post-arrival SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test at the DH's TSCC and wait for the results there or any other location as designated by DH upon arrival at HKIA;
    • Specimen bottles will be distributed to the exempted persons upon arrival. They must collect and return their deep throat saliva sample at Day-12 upon their arrival in accordance with the instructions for SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test again; and
    • Respective organisations must arrange point-to-point transportation for the exempted persons. The use of public transport is prohibited.

  2. What is the testing and isolation arrangement for consular and diplomatic officers who arrive at Hong Kong via Airport?
    With effect from 18 November 2020, the testing and isolation arrangement for consular and diplomatic officers who are exempted from quarantine arrangement upon arriving Hong Kong, particularly those who have visited very high risk places (i.e. the specified very high-risk places gazetted under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap.599H) has been tightened, with details as follows:

    Consular and diplomatic officers who have visited very high risk places during the 14 days prior to arrival in Hong Kong
    • They must possess a negative result of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test done at an ISO15189-accredited laboratory or a laboratory recognised by the Government where the laboratory is located with the specimen collected within 48 hours prior to boarding the flight to Hong Kong;
    • They must take a post-arrival SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test at the Department of Health's (DH) Temporary Specimen Collection Centre (TSCC) and wait for the results there or any other location as designated by DH upon arrival at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA);
    • Except Consul Generals or representatives in HKSAR at equivalent level, all other consular and diplomatic officers must be subject to self-isolation for 14 days at an accommodation arranged by respective organisations;
    • Specimen bottles will be distributed to the consular and diplomatic officers upon arrival. They must collect and return their deep throat saliva sample at Day-12 upon their arrival in accordance with the instructions for SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test again; and
    • Respective organisations must arrange point-to-point transportation for the consular and diplomatic officers. The use of public transport is prohibited.

    Consular and diplomatic officers who have NOT visited very high risk places during the 14-day prior to arrival in Hong Kong
    • If they possess a negative result of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test done at an ISO15189-accredited laboratory or a laboratory recognised by the Government where the laboratory is located with the specimen collected within 48 hours prior to boarding the flight to Hong Kong, they are required to take a post-arrival SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test at the DH's TSCC before leaving HKIA;
    • If they do not possess a negative result of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test done at an ISO15189-accredited laboratory or a laboratory recognised by the Government where the laboratory is located with the specimen collected within 48 hours prior to boarding the flight to Hong Kong, they must take a post-arrival SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test at the DH's TSCC and wait for the results there or any other location as designated by DH upon arrival at HKIA;
    • Specimen bottles will be distributed to the consular and diplomatic officers upon arrival. They must collect and return their deep throat saliva sample at Day-12 upon their arrival in accordance with the instructions for SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test again; and
    • Respective organisations must arrange point-to-point transportation for the consular and diplomatic officers. The use of public transport is prohibited.

Arrival at Land Boundary Control Points

  1. What is the testing arrangement for exempted persons arriving at land boundary control points?
    To accord with the implementation of theReturn2hk Scheme, the following additional conditions are imposed to the exempted persons arriving Hong Kong from the Mainland and Macao via 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 –
    1. 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;
    2. the test conducted on the sample is a polymerase chain reaction-based nucleic acid test for COVID-19;
    3. the result of the test is the person was tested negative for COVID-19; and
    4. the test was conducted by a laboratory that, at the time of the person's arrival, is included in a list of recognised laboratories published for this purpose in the Department of Health's official website.

  2. 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:
    1. Medical or testing institutions in the Guangdong Province
      https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/pdf/List_of_recognised_laboratories_GD.pdf
    2. Medical or testing institutions in Macao
      https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/pdf/List_of_recognised_laboratories_MO.pdf
    3. Medical or testing institutions in Hong Kong
      https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/pdf/List_of_recognised_laboratories.pdf

Miscellaneous

  1. Per the enactment of ‘Specified conditions imposed on inbound travellers who have visited specified high risk places (Cap.599H)’, will air crew, sea crew or other exempted persons being affected?
    A person who is in transit in Hong Kong, and a person exempted by the Chief Secretary for Administration from compulsory quarantine under section 4(1) of either the Compulsory Quarantine of Certain Persons Arriving at Hong Kong Regulation (Cap. 599C) or Compulsory Quarantine of Persons Arriving at Hong Kong from Foreign Places Regulation (Cap. 599E) will not be affected and they are not required to produce the documents under the regulation of Cap.599H (e.g. the confirmation of room reservation in a hotel in Hong Kong).

    Yet, all incoming sea crew members of goods vessels coming to Hong Kong for cargo operation arriving at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) must obtain a negative result of nucleic acid test for COVID-19 conducted at a recognised laboratory within 48 hours prior to boarding. Air crew and other exempted persons arriving at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) are encouraged to obtain one if possible.