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Returning to Hong Kong & quarantine

Heading back to Hong Kong from overseas? You’re now required to undertake a quarantine period of some kind. No matter which country you’ve returned from, there are requirements you have to adhere to. Here we take a look at some must-know points.

Hong Kong has achieved one of the flattest case curves in the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who have stayed here have worked hard to reduce transmission by following government guidelines, wearing masks, practicing social distancing, working from home and learning online. It’s been a tough first quarter of the year but the efforts have paid off so far!

To continue this positive momentum and protect the city from imported cases, new inbound quarantine requirements have been announced. These impact expat families returning from all corners of the globe. No matter where you have been, nor your behaviour while away, you are required to comply with the instructions provided upon landing.

Quarantine for inbound travellers

Starting from midnight on Thursday 19 March, people arriving in Hong Kong, regardless of whether they are Hong Kong residents, will be subject to compulsory quarantine. The type of quarantine varies depending on where you are coming from. Watch the video below for details of the type of quarantine expected of you.

The COVID-19 situation is changing daily. This means, by the time you arrive back in Hong Kong, your level of quarantine may be updated. Again, you’ll need to follow the advice given to you by the authorities upon arrival.

See the quarantine for inbound travellers government notice here.

The tech approach to home isolation

Individuals and families re-entering Hong Kong and undertaking home quarantine will be required to wear a wristband while completing home quarantine. The authorities will distribute these wristbands to relevant travellers. Along with wearing the device, according to the home quarantine instructions, a person must:

  • stay at home all day;
  • check their body temperature twice a day (as should those living with them)
  • note their general health condition;
  • contact the 24-hour health line if they record a fever or develop other symptoms; and
  • maintain good hygiene and personal space.

Learn more about the Hong Kong Government’s tech approach to home quarantine.

Relatives and other household members during quarantine

During home quarantine, what happens to other household members, such as domestic workers and family who remained in Hong Kong? These people have permission to enter and leave the premises. However, it’s important to note that anyone who isn’t living at your residence will not be permitted to visit you. Breaching the quarantine order is a serious offence and may incur an imprisonment term. Providing false information about your travel history is also a serious offence.

Let’s all work together to respect the process and keep each other safe!

Support and accommodation options

Our city is amazing. We are seeing the expat community come together to offer support to those who are facing quarantine and self isolation, including forming quarantine support groups on Facebook. Many generous community members are offering to shop, run errands and even walk pets for those impacted. If you are facing quarantine, reach out and allow your community to support you.

If you are looking for a place to stay during your 14 days, some hotels are offering quarantine stays that include meal delivery.

For the latest updates, visit the government’s dedicated COVID-19 website, coronavirus.gov.hk.


For more information on life in Hong Kong, visit our Living in Hong Kong section or check out these stories:

Adventure guide to HK’s outlying islands
Best Sunday brunches in Hong Kong
Tips for entertaining at home