Hong Kong to let in non-residents starting May 1, but with quarantine

After lifting suspensions on flights from 9 overseas locations on April 1, Hong Kong now plans to let in non-residents from all countries starting May 1. In the past month, average daily arrivals have risen in the territory to about 1,200 from a meagre 300, according to the Hong Kong government’s Covid website.

The ban on non-residents has been in place since March 2020, though it was briefly lifted for travellers from certain places. The territory is said to have the world’s strictest Covid-19 travel rules. Its government has admitted that it residents and potential visitors and returnees are critical of the rules.

“…too harsh, leading to suspensions of different routes and easily disrupting the itineraries of people coming back to Hong Kong”.

Starting May 1, arrivals must take a Covid ATK (rapid antigen test) at the airport, and those who are negative can head to a designated quarantine hotel for 7 days.

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Hong Kong is also easing rules for halting a flight route, saying a suspension will not come into effect if 5passengers test positive on arrival, up from 3 under the previous rules.

Due to how strict Hong Kong has been about Covid-19, many expats and locals alike have been itching to leave. Last month, the government’s insistence on pursuing its zero-Covid strategy sparked a mass exodus of over 134,000 local residents and expat workers. Some Hong Kong expats, however, cannot afford to leave. Moving country costs a lot of money in shipping and pet relocations. People who move often have to wait months after shipping their belongings to actually receive them.

SOURCE: Bloomberg News

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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