This change applies to Hong Kong residents returning from countries that have been classified as high-risk and medium-risk for COVID-19 threats.
The mandatory quarantine period in Hong Kong will be cut to seven days for fully vaccinated Hong Kong citizens returning from lower-risk countries including Singapore.
Details of the latest arrangements were shared in a press conference on Monday (Jun 21) by Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam.
The new quarantine period will be applicable to Hong Kong residents, including work-visa holders, who have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days and are returning from countries that fall in high-risk Group B and medium-risk Group C categories.
These groupings are from a system implemented by Hong Kong to access the COVID-19 threats overseas. Currently, Singapore is part of Group B, including other countries such as Japan, Britain and the United States.
Other groups include Group A1 and A2, classified as extremely high-risk countries and very high-risk groups respectively, and Group D for lower risk countries.
Upon arrival in Hong Kong, residents are required to test negative for COVID-19 and positive for antibodies against it.
Health advisers said that testing for COVID-19 antibodies helps indicate whether they have been vaccinated. Additionally, it helps to identify false negative cases to prevent any asymptomatic infections from entering the country.
As of now, residents from Group B and C must undergo hotel quarantine for 14 days, where they are required to take three COVID-19 tests. After their quarantine, they have to self-monitor for a week and submit the results on the 16th and 19th days of their return.
For Group A1 and A2 countries, stricter restrictions have been implemented. Residents are required to quarantine for 21 days, otherwise they are not allowed to return.
The Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble (ATB) arrangement was postponed for a second time in May. Authorities in both countries said in early June that they will review the COVID-19 situation in mid-July before deciding on a new date for the launch of the ATB.
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