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Hong Kong tightens restrictions on arrivals

Many international arrivals in Hong Kong will be subject to stringent new entry requirements.

Hong Kong is tightening restrictions for international arrivals as a ‘third wave’ of coronavirus continues to engulf the city.

This weekend saw the territory’s fifth coronavirus-linked death in six days as the virus spread through care homes, health centres and restaurants. On July 17, 58 new cases were reported, many with no obvious source. The latest fatality raises the city’s overall coronavirus death rate to 12.

The government has now published a list of what it deems to be high risk countries. Arrivals from these areas will be subject to strict new entry requirements.

The new regulations come into effect on July 25 and will mean that anyone travelling from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines and South Africa will be required to obtain a negative COVID-19 result from a nucleic acid test (also known as a PCR test) before arriving in Hong Kong.

Three separate documents will also be required. These include a letter in English issued by a laboratory or healthcare institution bearing the name of the traveller. It must also show that the sample for the test was taken from the traveller within 72 hours of the scheduled departure time of the specified flight, that the test conducted is a nucleic acid test and that the result is negative.

The second document must be an original, hard-copy report for the test issued by the laboratory or healthcare provider with the name and passport or HKID number of the traveller.

The third document should be a letter from the relevant government authority of the place in which the laboratory or healthcare centre is located, certifying that the laboratory or centre is recognised by the government.

All arrivals from Indonesia and Philippines, including all domestic helpers, will require proof of a 14-day hotel booking in Hong Kong for quarantine purposes.

Arrivals from India, Pakistan, South Africa, Nepal and South Africa will continue to be required to quarantine in government facilities.

All government quarantine centres are now to remain operational, with the last day for the facility at Fo Tan now extended to mid-August. It was due to be returned as public housing this month.

An additional 1,500 units in Penny Bay and 90 units in Sai Kung are to be added soon.

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