Hong Kong may have gone through significant changes, but it’s still Hong Kong. The hotels, the food, the scenery and unique fusion of cultures are all too special to miss. Like many destinations, it’s been closed to non-residents for a very long time.
In a promising development for travel – and Asia in general – Hong Kong is going to allow vaccinated visitors to return once again, albeit with a quarantine period. It’s not quite seamless, but it’s a big step.
Hong Kong Opening to Vaccinated Visitors
Hong Kong will allow fully vaccinated visitors to return for leisure, business and all the other reasons people travel this year. The news applies to those who have completed all the required doses of pretty much all the vaccines you’ve heard of. A full list can be found here.
Hong Kong opening for visitors is a huge step change, and makes it one of the first in Asia to reopen its doors. Thailand is the only other notable tourism fixture in Asia to open for travel, with plans to welcome vaccinated visitors to Phuket, from July 1st.
For most of the last year, the Hong Kong city state has been closed to most non residents, and even returning Hong Kong residents have been required to quarantine in a supervised setting for at least 14 days upon arrival.
Protocols For Visitors To Hong Kong
Early visitors to Hong Kong will find that it’s far from a free for all. All fully vaccinated visitors will still be required to quarantine for 7 days in an approved hotel, and submit to a slew of covid-19 tests during the quarantine period. A list of countries which any visitors would be ineligible for entry from, will be published.
Seven days in supervised quarantine may not sound wildly exciting, but for those who need to conduct business, catch up with friends or hit the shops, 7 days isn’t entirely unreasonable.
The change in travel entry policy marks the first time it’s been remotely possible for non residents to enter Hong Kong, since the early days of the pandemic.
Hong Kong plans to begin initial rollout of the new policy beginning in July, with an effective start date from June 30th. If successful, Hong Kong says it may eliminate more entry hoops, in due course.
In an interesting twist, vaccination won’t be the only requirement to enter Hong Kong. A serology test will be conducted on arrival to confirm vaccination, which will help to determine if your body appropriately reacts to the spike protein of covid-19, creating the response a vaccinated visitor should. Once the test is conducted once, it’s good for 3 months and entries during that period. Read as: don’t fake it!
For more on plans for Hong Kong to reopen travel, check out the latest release from the Government of Hong Kong, which includes accepted vaccines and greater detail about any protocol.