Hong Kong Drops Covid Restrictions: 5 Things To Know Before Your Trip


Farah Fazanna •  Dec 29, 2022

Have you been waiting to visit Hong Kong? Good news! Hong Kong has announced its most drastic easing of travel curbs and Covid-19 policies since the pandemic emerged nearly three years ago, exempting inbound passengers from post-arrival tests, dropping the vaccine pass scheme and all social-distancing measures. This makes travelling to the city a breeze! Read on to find out the newest updates.

1. Visitors no longer need to do on-arrival testing

Authorities in Hong Kong are scrapping on-arrival testing for all travellers from December 29. However, international arrivals must have proof of a negative result from a rapid antigen test no more than 24 hours prior to departure, or a PCR test was taken within 48 hours before boarding. Travellers are recommended to conduct a daily RAT for six consecutive days. The online health declaration form is no longer mandatory for incoming travellers.

Non-residents from overseas will need to be fully vaccinated to enter the city. For BioNTech, Sinovac and Moderna vaccines, two doses are required. One shot is needed for the CanSinoBIO and Janssen jabs, and three for the Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical vaccine.

2. No more social distancing measures

The Hong Kong government is also ending all social distancing measures, including group gathering bans of 12 people in public. The Vaccine Pass, necessary for entering “high-risk” venues like restaurants, will be abolished. As the vaccine pass scheme will be axed, people in Hong Kong – including travellers – do not need to be triple-vaccinated to enter premises such as restaurants, bars and gyms.

3. Mask is still required

The government requires mandatory mask-wearing in terminals, public transport, as well as indoor and outdoor public places. Eating and drinking are also not allowed on public transport. You are allowed not to wear masks in country parks or when exercising or jogging in outdoor areas, as well as when taking group pictures. The government has also allowed citizens not to wear masks when exercising in indoor sports premises and fitness centres. If you are caught violating the mask-wearing regulations, you will get a maximum fine of $10,000.

4. What happens if I catch Covid-19 in Hong Kong?

Those who test positive via RAT or PCR in the city will need to report their infection on the government website and receive an isolation order. All Covid-19 patients in the city have to spend at least five days in isolation at home or at any residence of their choice. They will be sent to government-run facilities if they have to share a bathroom with uninfected family members or roommates. They will be released if they are RAT-negative on the fourth and fifth days of isolation.

5. When will the border with mainland China reopen?

In related news, the South China Morning Post reports that January 10 has been set as a tentative reopening date for the border with Mainland China. Insider sources say there will be no quota for the number of Hong Kong residents who can cross over, but travellers coming in from the Mainland must take a PCR test within 48 hours of arrival, and will initially be limited to those with business visas or family members in the city.

Are you already planning your trip to Hong Kong? Check out these articles to help you prepare: