Quarantine for Inbound Travellers - Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the current health quarantine arrangements for inbound travellers?
  2. What is the quarantine period?
  3. How to define the period of relevant travel history?
  4. What would then happen after one has declared relevant travel history to an affected area?
  5. What if a person misreports his travel history for the past 14 days?

Arrangement for COVID-19 viral test

  1. What will happen to those symptomatic inbound travellers?
  2. Should those who have been confirmed as COVID-19 cases abroad inform the Department of Health?
  3. What is the Enhanced Laboratory Surveillance Programme?
  4. How can inbound travellers join the Enhanced Laboratory Surveillance Programme?
  5. Can the inbound travellers go to the premises for home quarantine first?
  6. What will happen if the test result is positive?

Arrangement and points to note for home quarantine

  1. Why are the travellers sent to different premises for quarantine?
  2. What are the conditions for quarantine at home or other accommodation?
  3. Are travellers from overseas allowed to stay in hotel for quarantine?
  4. Are visitors allowed to enter a place undergoing home quarantine?
  5. Are household members allowed to stay in the same premises?
  6. Should I wear a mask when there is a home confinee in my household?
  7. What are the special precautions for the home confinees?
  8. Should a household member share meals, kitchen and toilet with a home confinee?
  9. Is there any special arrangement for garbage collection for confinees?
  10. What is the emergency hotline in case I have to attend a doctor?
  11. How does the Government know and manage the person who has fallen ill?
  12. Can the person be allowed to leave briefly to attend to matters?
  13. Is there any specific procedure on completion of 14-day home quarantine?
  14. How to report breaches of quarantine orders?

Other questions

  1. If I transit via Hong Kong without entering Hong Kong, would quarantine measures applied to me?
  2. If I transit and land in Hong Kong for 3 days, would I be subject to quarantine?
  3. Would I be allowed to leave Hong Kong earlier so that I can return to my home country?
  4. What is the testing and quarantine arrangement for exempted persons?
  5. What is the health advice for travellers before they come to Hong Kong?
  6. Why should we have these health quarantine arrangements?
  7. What should I do if I have questions on the electronic wristband or the “StayHomeSafe” Mobile App?
  8. Where can I obtain more information?

  1. What are the current health quarantine arrangements for inbound travellers?
    Health quarantine arrangements on inbound travellers from the Mainland, Macao or Taiwan, including Hong Kong and non-Hong Kong residents:
    • Compulsory quarantine at designated places (home or other accommodation) apart from the exempted persons under the "Compulsory Quarantine of Certain Persons Arriving at Hong Kong Regulation"

    Health quarantine arrangements on inbound travellers from overseas:
    • Hong Kong residents arriving in Hong Kong who have been to any overseas countries or areas in the past 14 days are subject to compulsory quarantine apart from the exempted persons under the "Compulsory Quarantine of Certain Persons Arriving at Hong Kong from Foreign Places Regulation". If inbound travellers have stayed in any specified high risk places on the day or 14 days before boarding the aircraft to Hong Kong, please refer to this webpage.

    All inbound travellers who are subject to the compulsory quarantine specified above should not have any symptoms and should have passed temperature checks upon entry. Those with symptoms will be referred to the Department of Health for further handling. Arrivals holding a visa with validity of less than 14 days will be denied entry.

    Starting from 4am on 18 August 2020, those arriving Hong Kong via the Hong Kong International Airport will be required to proceed to the Temporary Specimen Collection Centre (TSCC) set up in the restricted area of the Airport for collecting their deep throat saliva samples immediately upon arrival. They will need to stay at the TSCC to wait for test results which will be available on the same day before they can proceed with immigration procedures. For passengers whose test results will not be available on the same day (usually passengers arriving in afternoons or at nights), they can proceed with immigration procedures right after collecting their deep throat saliva samples at the TSCC. They will subsequently be taken to the Holding Centre for Test Result (HCTR) of the Department of Health in hotel by coaches arranged by the Department of Health to wait for their test results. However, the Department of Health will make flexible arrangements according to its capacity and the daily number of passengers arriving on afternoon flights. If necessary, inbound travellers arriving in the afternoon could also be arranged to wait for test results at the TSCC. In general, the relevant passengers will only stay in the HCTR for one night and will be arranged to leave on the next day when their test results are available. If their test results are negative, they will be allowed to leave the hotel and go home or to a designated place immediately to continue completion of the 14-day compulsory quarantine. Confirmed cases and their close contacts will respectively be arranged for admission to hospital and sent to designated quarantine centres direct.

  2. What is the quarantine period?
    The quarantine period lasts for 14 days. The date of arrival in Hong Kong is Day 1 and the quarantine period will last from Day 1 to Day 14.

  3. How to define the period of relevant travel history?
    The travel history counted from the arrival day (Day 0), back counting for 14 days.
    Example:
    Arrival date on 19 March 2020 (Day 0), travel history refers to the period of previous 14 days from 18 March 2020 (Day -1) to 5 March 2020 (Day -14).

  4. What would then happen after one has declared relevant travel history to an affected area?
    Depending on the situation of the inbound travellers, they will receive different quarantine arrangements as instructed by the Government officials. Those who receive quarantine at home or other accommodation have to provide their address in Hong Kong as well as the contact phone number. They will then be required to put on the electronic wristband provided by the Government. After entering Hong Kong, the person concerned must be quarantined at the provided address for 14 days.

  5. What if a person misreports his travel history for the past 14 days?
    According to Prevention and Control of Disease (Disclosure of Information) Regulation (Cap 599D), it would be a criminal offence for any person to provide false or misleading information (including travel history) to the health officer or medical practitioners concerned.

  6. What will happen to those symptomatic inbound travellers or those who have been confirmed as COVID-19 cases abroad?
    Members of the public arriving in Hong Kong are urged to approach the Port Health Division (PHD) officers of the Department of Health (DH) immediately for follow-up when respiratory symptoms develop.
    The Hospital Authority Major Incident Control Centre liaises closely with the Department of Health to arrange the transfer of inbound travellers with respiratory symptoms to various Accident and Emergency Departments (A&E) for the tests required. They may need to wait at the A&E test and triage centres for the test results, which usually take several hours. If the test result is negative, they will have to return to their residence to continue the home quarantine.

  7. Should those who have been confirmed as COVID-19 cases abroad inform the Department of Health?
    Passengers who have been confirmed as COVID-19 cases abroad, even if they are asymptomatic currently, should approach Port Health Division (PHD) officers upon arrival to reveal their relevant history for appropriate follow-up by the Department of Health.

  8. What is the Enhanced Laboratory Surveillance Programme?
    The Government has progressively widened the coverage of the Enhanced Laboratory Surveillance Programme by adopting a risk-based approach, so as to identify COVID-19 patients as early as possible.
    In view of the latest epidemic development in the Mainland, starting August 6, inbound travellers who have been to Xinjiang or Liaoning in the past 14 days (applies to all inbound travellers including exempted persons) arriving via land boundary control points (Shenzhen Bay Port and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Hong Kong Port) will be provided with specimen collection containers. They are required to collect their deep throat saliva sample by themselves in accordance with the instructions and return the sample for conducting COVID-19 testing. Separately, the previous testing arrangements required for relevant inbound travellers who have been to Hubei or Beijing in the past 14 days will be cancelled but those arrivals who are not exempted persons are still subject to compulsory quarantine for 14 day at a designated place (home or other accommodation) while exempted persons are subject to medical surveillance upon arrival at Hong Kong.

  9. How can inbound travellers join the Enhanced Laboratory Surveillance Programme?
    The Department of Health (DH) has set up a Temporary Specimen Collection Centre to speed up the collection of specimen from asymptomatic inbound travellers for conducting testing for COVID-19.
    All asymptomatic inbound travellers arriving at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) will be mandated to wait for test results at a designated location after collecting their deep throat saliva samples for conducting testing for COVID-19 at the TSCC. Depending on the arrival time of flights and taking into consideration factors including infection control and crowd control as well as testing time, the DH will arrange those asymptomatic inbound travellers who need to wait for test results overnight to be temporarily accommodated in the DH Holding Centre for Test Result (HCTR) set up in the Regal Oriental Hotel.
    Passengers arriving by flights in early mornings and later mornings will stay at the TSCC to wait for test results after collecting their deep throat saliva samples there. They will receive the test results on the same day. As the test results for passengers arriving in afternoons or at nights will not be available on the same day, they will be taken to the DH HCTR in the Regal Oriental Hotel by coaches arranged by the DH to wait for their test results (Remark).
    The DH will issue quarantine orders to all passengers arriving at the HKIA. The relevant government department will also arrange electronic wristbands for them. According to quarantine orders, those staying at the DH HCTR shall not leave their hotel rooms nor move around in the hotel. The DH HCTR is equipped with basic security services to ensure the above persons are safe and cannot leave without permission. The hotel will provide basic catering services during the accommodation period. In general, the relevant passengers will only stay in the hotel for one night and will be arranged to leave in an orderly manner on the next day when their test results are available. If their test results are negative, they will be allowed to leave the hotel and go home or to a designated place immediately to continue completion of the 14-day compulsory quarantine. Confirmed cases and their close contacts will respectively be arranged for admission to hospital and sent to designated quarantine centres by ambulance and vehicles arranged by the Government direct.
    Apart from requiring all asymptomatic inbound travellers arriving at the HKIA to collect their deep throat saliva samples at the TSCC for conducting testing for COVID-19, the DH has also instructed their collection of deep throat saliva samples during quarantine for another round of virus testing. They have to collect their deep throat saliva sample by themselves on day 10 of the quarantine. They should arrange to hand in their specimens, either through their family or friends or the door-to-door specimen collection service, to any of the collection points in the same morning.

    Remark:
    However, the Department of Health will make flexible arrangements according to its capacity and the daily number of passengers arriving on afternoon flights. If necessary, inbound travellers arriving in the afternoon could also be arranged to wait for test results at the TSCC.
    If the day's number of inbound travellers is expected to exceed the capacity of the two aforementioned centres, the Department of Health will adopt a triage measure based on risk assessment. Passengers arriving from areas with lower risk will proceed to the designated place for the 14-day compulsory quarantine after collecting their deep throat saliva samples at the TSCC. If their test result is positive, the Department of Health will arrange to send them to a hospital for treatment as soon as possible and arrange to send their close contacts to a quarantine centre.

  10. Can the inbound travellers go to the premises for home quarantine first?
    All asymptomatic inbound travellers arriving at the Hong Kong International Airport will be mandated to collect their deep throat saliva samples at the Temporary Specimen Collection Centre for conducting testing for COVID-19.
    Inbound travellers who have been to Xinjiang or Liaoning in the past 14 days (applies to all inbound travellers including exempted persons) arriving via land boundary control points (Shenzhen Bay Port and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Hong Kong Port) will be provided with specimen collection containers for collection of their deep throat saliva samples at home for COVID-19 testing. They need to return the specimen, either through their family or friends or the door-to-door specimen collection service, to any of the collection points in the same morning.

  11. What will happen if the test result is positive?
    If a sample tests positive, the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) will notify the person concerned as early as possible and arrange for admission to a public hospital for treatment.
    On receiving notification of confirmed cases of COVID-19, the CHP will conduct epidemiological investigation and contact tracing. Quarantine will be arranged for close contacts while medical surveillance will be arranged for other contacts.

  12. Why are the travellers sent to different premises for quarantine?
    The Government adopts a risk-based approach to decide appropriate quarantine premises (such as home, hotels or other premises) for different groups of inbound travellers.

  13. What are the conditions for quarantine at home or other accommodation?
    Apart from meeting conditions as described in question 1 above, these travellers must have passed temperature checks when they arrived in Hong Kong and do not have any symptoms.
    Those who receive quarantine at home or other accommodation have to provide their address as well as the contact phone number.
    Persons under quarantine are prohibited from leaving Hong Kong, and have to stay at the premises at all times. They should also maintain good personal and environmental hygiene. The household is strongly advised to adhere to good personal hygiene, masking and social distancing during the quarantine period.
    Persons under quarantine have to check their body temperature twice daily and record their health condition for monitoring of personal health. If they have fever or develop other symptoms, they have to inform the Centre for Health Protection via a dedicated hotline which operates 24 hours a day. After assessment, they will be sent to hospitals for treatment when necessary.

  14. Are travellers from overseas allowed to stay in hotel for quarantine?
    The quarantine premises are mainly residential homes though hotels can be an option. Travellers need to show proof of hotel booking record. If inbound travellers have stayed in any specified high risk places on the day or 14 days before boarding the aircraft to Hong Kong, please also refer to this webpage.

  15. Are visitors allowed to enter a place undergoing home quarantine?
    Friends or relatives not living together should not enter the place so as to reduce the risk of being exposed to infection.

  16. Are household members allowed to stay in the same premises?
    Yes. Nevertheless, we strongly advise that the household members adhere to good personal hygiene, masking and social distancing during the quarantine period.

  17. Should I wear a mask when there is a home confinee in my household?
    Please refer to the above question.

  18. What are the special precautions for the home confinees?
    Confinees must stay at the premises at all times. They should also maintain good personal and environmental hygiene at all times. If living with other people, both confinee and his/her household members should wear surgical mask throughout the quarantine period.

    Maintain social distancing
    • Stay in a well-ventilated single room if possible
    • Keep a distance from others as much as possible (at least 1 metre)

    Personal hygiene
    • Do not share towels or personal items, and separately placed from those of other family members
    • Perform hand hygiene frequently and observe cough etiquette

    Environmental hygiene
    • Clean and disinfect the home environment daily with 1 in 99 diluted household bleach (mixing 10 ml of bleach containing 5.25% sodium hypochlorite with 990 ml of water), leave for 15-30 minutes and then rinse with water. For metallic surface, disinfect with 70% alcohol
    • After using the toilet, put the toilet lid down before flushing, and pour about half a litre of water into each drain outlet (U-traps) regularly
    • Designate a toilet to be used only by the confinee as far as possible. If the toilet is shared use with other members of the household, need to clean and disinfect the toilet after each use by the confinee with 1 in 49 diluted household bleach. Clean and disinfect the washing basin with 1 in 49 diluted household bleach if contaminated with sputum or saliva of the confinee e.g. after rinsing mouth or brushing teeth
    • Do not touch commonly shared items with family members such as TV control panel, radio control panel, door handles, unless you disinfect your hand with alcohol-based handrub first

    Lifestyle
    • Avoid meal gatherings and do not share food or drinks
    • Eat in your own room; if not possible, eat by facing a wall
    • There is no need to do separate laundry
    • Do not smoke and avoid alcohol consumption
    • If developing fever and acute respiratory symptoms or feeling unwell, make sure the mask is worn properly, call the hotline of the Department of Health immediately for advice and arrangement to public hospital for further management

  19. Should a household member share meals, kitchen and toilet with a home confinee?
    The household member should maintain good personal and environmental hygiene at all times. Both confinee and his/her household members should wear surgical mask throughout the quarantine period.

    Maintain social distancing
    • Wear a mask and maintain appropriate social distance with confinee (at least 1 metre)

    Personal hygiene
    • Do not share personal items (e.g. tooth brush)
    • Maintain good person hygiene especially hand hygiene

    Environmental hygiene
    • Ensure that shared spaces are well ventilated by keeping windows open
    • Frequent cleansing and disinfection (including kitchen and toilet)

    Lifestyle
    • Avoid going to crowded places, wear a surgical mask when taking public transport or staying in crowded places
    • Stagger meal
    • Do not share meals with confinee
    • Do not smoke and avoid alcohol consumption
    • Build up good body resistance and maintain healthy lifestyle. This can be achieved through balanced diet, regular exercise and adequate rest
    • Monitor health condition. If a household member develops fever or respiratory symptoms, he or she should put on a surgical mask and seek medical attention immediately

  20. Is there any special arrangement for garbage collection for confinees?
    In case no family members or friends could help to dispose waste, wrap your waste properly for door-to-door collection by Government staff. Food and Environmental Hygiene Department and Housing Department will help to collect garbage as necessary.

  21. What is the emergency hotline in case I have to attend a doctor?
    Please call the designated hotline which operates 24 hours a day provided by the Department of Health. For emergency situation, please call 999.

  22. How does the Government know and manage the person who has fallen ill?
    Persons under quarantine have to check their body temperature twice daily and record their health condition for monitoring of personal health. If they have fever or develop other symptoms, they have to inform the Centre for Health Protection via a dedicated hotline which operates 24 hours a day. After assessment, they will be sent to hospitals for treatment when necessary.

  23. Can the person be allowed to leave briefly to attend to matters?
    No. The Government has to emphasise that self-discipline and community solidarity in fighting against the disease are of utmost importance. Any person concerned who leaves the dwelling place without permission may commit a criminal offence. The penalty upon conviction is imprisonment and a fine.
    The Government will ensure the persons under compulsory quarantine stay at the premises by spot checks, telephone calls and via monitoring of the status of electronic device, etc.

  24. Is there any specific procedure on completion of 14-day home quarantine?
    There is no specific procedure required to be done upon completion of the 14-day home quarantine. For handling of wristband and "StayHomeSafe" mobile app, please refer to the designated page on “StayHomeSafe” Mobile App User Guide.

  25. How to report breaches of quarantine orders?
    The Government appeals to the public to make use of the "e-Report Centre" online platform to report suspected cases of breaching quarantine orders. Members of the public may also report suspected breaches of quarantine orders through report rooms of police stations or call 1823.
    The Government strongly appeals to the public to follow the quarantine requirement strictly in order to protect the health of their own selves and others. The measure is of utmost importance to prevent the spreading of COVID-19 in the community. Leaving dwelling places without permission is a criminal offence and offenders are subject to a maximum imprisonment of six months and a fine of $25,000.

  26. If I transit via Hong Kong without entering Hong Kong, would home quarantine measures applied to me?
    Quarantine measures are only applicable to persons who enter Hong Kong.

  27. If I transit and land in Hong Kong for 3 days, would I be subject to quarantine?
    The quarantine requirement does not apply to transit passenger who arrives at the Hong Kong International Airport or enters the waters of Hong Kong solely for the purpose of leaving Hong Kong and, while in Hong Kong, does not pass through immigration control.

  28. Would I be allowed to leave Hong Kong earlier so that I can return to my home country?
    No. The Government has to emphasise that self-discipline and community solidarity in fighting against the disease are of utmost importance. Any person concerned who leaves the dwelling place without permission may commit a criminal offence. The penalty upon conviction is imprisonment and a fine.
    The Government will ensure the persons under compulsory quarantine stay at the premises by spot checks, telephone calls and via monitoring of the status of electronic device, etc.

  29. What is the testing and quarantine arrangement for exempted persons?
    Please refer to the latest press release.

  30. What is the health advice for travellers before they come to Hong Kong?
    If feeling unwell, especially if experiencing a fever or cough, wear a surgical mask, inform the hotel staff or tour escort (if applicable) and seek medical advice at once. Do not travel.

    To maintain at all times strict personal hygiene is key to protection:
    • Wear a surgical mask when taking public transport or staying in crowded places. It is important to wear a mask properly, including hand hygiene before wearing and after removing a mask
    • Perform hand hygiene frequently; especially before touching mouth, nose and eyes
    • Cover your mouth and nose with tissue paper when sneezing or coughing. Dispose of the soiled tissues into a lidded rubbish bin, and then wash hands thoroughly
    • Wash hands with liquid soap and water, and rub for at least 20 seconds. Then rinse with water and dry with a disposable paper towel. If hand washing facilities are not available, or when hands are not visibly soiled, performing hand hygiene with 70-80% alcohol-based handrub is an effective alternative

    Travellers are also advised of the following preventive measures:
    • Avoid close contact with persons with fever or respiratory symptoms. If it is unavoidable to come into contact with them, put on a surgical mask
    • Avoid visiting hospitals. If it is necessary to visit a hospital, put on a surgical mask and observe strict personal and hand hygiene
    • Avoid touching animals (including game), poultry/birds or their droppings
    • Avoid visiting wet markets, live poultry markets or farms
    • Avoid making close contact with patients, especially those with symptoms of acute respiratory infections
    • Do not consume game meat and do not patronise food premises where game meat is served.
    • Adhere to food safety and hygiene rules
    • Go out less and reduce social activities such as meals gatherings or other gatherings, and maintain appropriate social distance with other people as far as possible

  31. Why should we have these health quarantine arrangements?
    The Government has been closely monitoring the situation around the world. The global situation is rapidly evolving with a continuous surge in the number of affected countries and confirmed cases. The Government has been reviewing and will continue to adjust in a timely manner the health quarantine measures in view of the latest developments and risk in different countries.

  32. What should I do if I have questions on the electronic wristband or the “StayHomeSafe” Mobile App?
    You can contact Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO). Please call the hotline 5394 3150 or send email to [email protected] or send your name to 5394 3388 via SMS message. For details, please visit the designated page on “StayHomeSafe” Mobile App User Guide.

  33. Where can I obtain more information?
    Please visit the COVID-19 thematic website, designated page on inbound travel and the Facebook fan page of the Centre for Health Protection regularly for further information and updates.