Quarantine for Inbound Travellers - Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the current health quarantine arrangements for inbound travellers?
  2. What are the current infection control and quarantine measures for persons arriving at Hong Kong from the specified extremely high-risk places?
  3. What is the quarantine period?
  4. How to define the period of relevant travel history?
  5. What would then happen after one has declared relevant travel history to an affected area?
  6. What if a person misreports his travel history?

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. What will happen if the test result is positive?

Arrangement and points to note for 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 visitors allowed to enter the hotel room undergoing quarantine?
  6. Are household members allowed to stay in the same premises?
  7. Does the household member (who is not a home confinee) need to be quarantined as well?
  8. Should I wear a mask when there is a home confinee in my household?
  9. What are the special precautions for the home confinees?
  10. Should a household member share meals, kitchen and toilet with a home confinee?
  11. Is there any special arrangement for garbage collection for confinees?
  12. What is the emergency hotline in case I have to attend a doctor?
  13. How does the Government know and manage the person who has fallen ill?
  14. Can the person be allowed to leave briefly to attend to matters?
  15. Can the person be allowed to visit a critically ill relative or attend a funeral of relative whilst undertaking of quarantine?
  16. Is there any specific procedure on completion of quarantine?
  17. 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:
    • Compulsory quarantine at designated places (home, hotel or other accommodation) for 14 days excluding the exempted persons under the "Compulsory Quarantine of Certain Persons Arriving at Hong Kong Regulation"(Cap. 599C).
    • For details on Return2hk Scheme for Hong Kong residents, please refer to this webpage.

    Health quarantine arrangements on inbound travellers from overseas:
    • Excluding the exempted persons under the "Compulsory Quarantine of Certain Persons Arriving at Hong Kong from Foreign Places Regulation"(Cap. 599E), are subject to compulsory quarantine.
    • With effect from 0:00am on 25 December 2020, all persons arriving at Hong Kong (either via the airport or land boundary control points) who have stayed in places outside China on the day of arrival at Hong Kong or during the 21 days before that day have to undergo compulsory quarantine for 21 days in designated quarantine hotels. For details, please refer to this webpage.
    • If inbound travellers have stayed in any specified extremely high-risk, very high-risk or medium to high-risk places on the day or 21 days before boarding the aircraft to Hong Kong, please also refer to this webpage.
    • For details on Air Travel Bubble, 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 insufficient validity period will be denied entry.

    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 COVID-19 testing immediately upon arrival. They will need to stay at the TSCC to wait for test results. If their test results are negative, they will be allowed to proceed with immigration procedures and reclaim baggage, and go to a designated place immediately to continue completion of the 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 are the current infection control and quarantine measures for persons arriving at Hong Kong from the specified extremely high-risk places?
    Specified extremely high-risk places include
    • South Africa, the United Kingdom (from 0:00am on 25 December 2020)
    • Brazil, Ireland (from 0:00am on 23 January 2021)
    All persons who have stayed in specified extremely high-risk places for more than two hours on the day of boarding or during the 21 days before that day are not be allowed to board for Hong Kong.
    All persons arriving at Hong Kong (either via the airport or land boundary control points) who have stayed in places outside China on the day of arrival at Hong Kong or during the 21 days before that day have to undergo compulsory quarantine for 21 days in designated quarantine hotels.

    As an example, if a person departs from specified extremely high-risk places on 1 Jan 2021 and stays in other places outside China, the earliest day he / she can board for Hong Kong would be on 23 Jan 2021. He / she would then be subject to compulsory quarantine in a designated quarantine hotel for 21 days. Note that the date of arrival in Hong Kong is Day 1 of quarantine.

    Moreover, an updated compulsory testing notice has been made under Cap. 599J, which imposes compulsory testing requirements to persons subject to compulsory quarantine who arrived at Hong Kong during the period of December 2 to December 23, 2020 and have stayed in the UK, as well as persons subject to compulsory quarantine who arrived at Hong Kong during the period of December 2 to December 24, 2020 and have stayed in the remaining places outside China. Apart from the requirement to undergo testing at the community testing centres or the designated quarantine hotels on the 19th or 20th day following their arrival at Hong Kong, the relevant persons have to stay at their place of residence, private premises or the place of quarantine specified on the quarantine order until the test result is available. The persons need to arrange their own transport for the purpose of undergoing testing and, if they opt to take public transport, they can only travel direct by taking taxis and cannot disembark on the way.

    Regarding Designated Quarantine Hotels, please visit this webpage.
    Note: Charged door-to-door specimen collection service is not applicable to persons undergoing compulsory quarantine at the Desginated Quarantine Hotel.

    Regarding arrangement for air crew, sea crew and other exempted persons, please visit this webpage.

  3. What is the quarantine period?
    The date of arrival in Hong Kong is Day 1 and the quarantine period will last from Day 1 to 23:59 of the last day of compulsory quarantine (i.e. Day 14 or Day 21).

  4. How to define the period of relevant travel history?
    The travel history is back counted from the arrival day (Day 0) for 21 days.
    For example, if a person arrives in Hong Kong on 22 Jan (Day 0), relevant travel history period includes 21 Jan (Day -1) to 1 Jan (Day -21).

  5. 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.

  6. What if a person misreports his travel history?
    The Prevention and Control of Disease (Disclosure of Information) Regulation (Cap. 599D) empowers authorised officers to require any person to provide or disclose information that is relevant to identification and tracing of persons who may be at risk of contracting the disease, such as travel history, places they have visited or people they have come into contact with, etc. in relation to the prevention and control of the spread of diseases. A person commits a criminal offence if he / she fails to comply with the requirement to provide information, or gives to an authorised officer any false or misleading information. The maximum penalty for such offence is a fine of $10,000 and imprisonment for six months. The Centre for Health Protection will, through its hotlines (2125 1111/2125 1122), allow members of the public to verify the identity of authorised officers if necessary.
    The personal data obtained for COVID-19 contact tracing will only be used by the Department of Health or relevant department(s) for epidemic prevention purposes, and the arrangements for handling the personal data would be in strict compliance with the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap. 486).

  7. 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 designated place to continue the quarantine.

  8. Should those who have been confirmed as COVID-19 cases abroad inform the Department of Health?
    If an arriving passenger has any discomfort, he/she may report to the staff of airline/ Airport Authority/ Department of Health. He/she will then be assessed by medical staff and if necessary, will be transferred to nearby public hospital by ambulance for further management accordingly.
    For those who have recovered from COVID-19 currently not having any symptoms, they can proceed the quarantine procedures at the Airport as usual. At present, all inbound travellers arriving Hong Kong via the Hong Kong International Airport will be required to proceed to the Temporary Specimen Collection Centre set up in the restricted area of the Airport for COVID-19 testing upon arrival. If the 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 after testing for COVID-19 at the TSCC. If their test results are negative, they will be allowed to leave the hotel and go to a designated place immediately to continue completion of the 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 samples at the TSCC for conducting testing for COVID-19, the DH has also instructed them to have another round of virus testing on Day 12 during quarantine.

    For inbound travellers from overseas:
    • DH will arrange another round of virus testing on Day 12 during quarantine.
    • Confinees in designated quarantine hotels have to undergo testing again on the 19th or 20th day following the arrival at Hong Kong in accordance with instructions.
    • An updated compulsory testing notice has been made under Cap. 599J, which imposes compulsory testing requirements to persons subject to compulsory quarantine who arrived at Hong Kong during the period of December 2 to December 23, 2020 and have stayed in the UK, as well as persons subject to compulsory quarantine who arrived at Hong Kong during the period of December 2 to December 24, 2020 and have stayed in the remaining places outside China. Apart from the requirement to undergo testing at the community testing centres or the designated quarantine hotels on the 19th or 20th day following their arrival at Hong Kong, the relevant persons have to stay at their place of residence, private premises or the place of quarantine specified on the quarantine order until the test result is available. The persons need to arrange their own transport for the purpose of undergoing testing and, if they opt to take public transport, they can only travel direct by taking taxis and cannot disembark on the way.
    • For details, refer to: https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/designated-hotel.html and https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/compulsory-testing.html

    Other inbound travellers:

  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?
    For travellers from overseas, the quarantine premises can only be hotels.

  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 visitors allowed to enter the hotel room undergoing quarantine?
    Beginning from 18 November 2020, unless with the permission of an authorized officer, the confinee must not allow any other person (except hotel staff) to enter the hotel room undergoing quarantine. Breaking Quarantine Orders is a criminal offence and offenders are subject to a maximum imprisonment of six months and a fine of $25,000.

  17. 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.

  18. Does the household member (who is not a home confinee) need to be quarantined as well?
    Since the confinee has a travel history to a place with community transmission of COVID-19 , he/she might have been infected with COVID-19 and household member(s) is at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 if he/she lives with the confinee during the quarantine period. Under the current regulations, it is not compulsory for household member(s) to be quarantined together. However, the risk of transmission of the disease to the community may be increased if the accompanying household member(s) leaves the confinee's place of quarantine during the quarantine period. In the unfortunate circumstance that the confinee develops COVID-19, household member(s) needs to undergo compulsory quarantine. In order to minimize the possible risk of infection or chance of community transmission, household member(s) should wear a surgical mask throughout the quarantine period and maintain good personal and environmental hygiene at all times. He/she should maintain social distancing, keeping a distance from the confinee as much as possible (at least 1 metre) and avoid leaving the place of quarantine as far as practicable.

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

  20. 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

  21. 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

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. Can the person be allowed to visit a critically ill relative or attend a funeral of relative whilst undertaking of quarantine?
    In very limited circumstances, permission for confinee to temporary leave the quarantine place may be granted by an authorised officer of Department of Health to visit a relative who is critically ill or attend a funeral of relative (for funeral arranged at funeral home or cemetery only). Supporting documents, including but not limited to, relationship proof, hospital letter of patient’s latest condition, death certificate, etc are required to support these kinds of requests. In assessing the request, consideration will be given to the public health risk, and if visiting a facility, the applicant should have sought the approval of the receiving facility (i.e. hospital or funeral home) before hand. Such application should be submitted after confinees’ arrival in Hong Kong.

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

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. What is the testing and quarantine arrangement for exempted persons?
    Please refer to Testing and self-isolation arrangement for air crew, sea crew and other exempted persons - Frequently Asked Questions.

  33. 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

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.