UK flights to Hong Kong to resume


Hong Kong will be easing quarantine requirements for international arrivals.


The Hong Kong government announced today that it will be working with airlines to allow stranded Hong Kongers to return home from the United Kingdom.


Flights from Britain were been banned in late December due to the spread of the UK-detected variant of Covid-19 which led to a dramatic increase in infections in Britain.


However, following a hugely successful vaccine roll-out, 30 million Britons are now vaccinated and a three-month lockdown has helped to squash this third wave.


Hong Kong said it will now begin discussions with airlines about laying on designated flights from the end of April to allow Hong Kong residents to fly home. However, at this stage there has been no mention of a regular scheduled flight resumption.


Returnees will be expected to undergo four Covid tests, including one on arrival, one on day seven, one on day 12 and a final test on day 19. UK arrivals must stay at a designated hotel for 21 days of quarantine.


Further easing of social distancing in Hong Kong means returnees from low risk areas such as New Zealand, Australia and Singapore will see hotel quarantine reduce from 21 to 14 days, followed by seven days of self monitoring at home. Arrivals from these countries will be allowed to leave their quarantine hotel on day 14 but must go straight home and not leave until day 19 when they must go to a community centre for a final test.


Travellers from ‘medium risk’ areas and those who have been inoculated will also be faced with 14 days of hotel quarantine and seven days of self monitoring at home. They must undergo three tests, including one on day 19. To be considered vaccinated, travellers must have had their final jab at least 14 days before travel.


The government says it is also considering several air travel bubbles for vaccinated Hong Kongers. Discussions are apparently being held with Singapore, as well as Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.


In further good news, Hong Kong’s beaches, swimming pools, children’s playgrounds and libraries are set to reopen.