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Published: 15:29, November 29, 2021
Global banks are paying up to deal with HK’s quarantine
By Bloomberg
Published:15:29, November 29, 2021 By Bloomberg

Skyline of Hong Kong is seen from the Peak in Hong Kong, China, on May, 26, 2021. (PAUL YEUNG / BLOOMBERG)

Companies including JPMorgan Chase & Co are stepping up to compensate employees for hotel quarantine as businesses in Hong Kong struggle to retain and recruit staff almost two years into the pandemic.

As most of the rest of the world is opening up, including rival financial hubs such as Singapore, London and New York, Hong Kong is steadfast in its zero-COVID approach, which includes mandating a 21-day hotel quarantine stay for returning residents and visitors.

READ MORE: HK bans non-resident arrivals from eight African nations

A stay at Hong Kong’s designated quarantine hotel can cost between HK$500 ($64) to HK$3,630 per night for a non-suite room.


The US bank offered to reimburse Hong Kong employees up to $5,000 to compensate for their quarantine stay, in a plan that will be in effect until November next year. 

All Hong Kong-based employees who are executive directors and below may claim the amount for a single quarantine stay for personal trips to visit immediate family members, which includes spouses, domestic partners, children, parents and grandparents. JPMorgan has 4,000 employees in city.

Morgan Stanley 

The New York-based investment bank offered employees as much as HK$40,000 ($5,100) to cover quarantine. The one-time reimbursement will be available to all Hong Kong permanent employees when they return from a personal trip to visit immediate family members and will be in effect until November next year. 

An employee wearing a protective mask walks past table settings at Crown Super Deluxe restaurant, operated by hospitality group Black Sheep Restaurants, in Hong Kong, June 18, 2020. (PHOTO / BLOOMBERG)

Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs Group Inc staff in the Asia Pacific will be able to claim a one-time subsidy of up to $5,000 to cover quarantine costs starting on Dec 1. The subsidy is in recognition that staff in the Asia-Pacific region have faced “the additional burden of multiple lockdowns and some of the strictest quarantine measures in the world,” the US bank said in a memo.


BlackRock Inc is offering to reimburse some employees in Hong Kong and Singapore as much as $2,000 to help defray quarantine costs. The reimbursement is available to permanent employees who are vice presidents and below and have been at the firm for at least a year. 

ALSO READ: HK adds 1,500 quarantine hotel rooms for arrivals

The program, which went into effect at the beginning of November, will compensate employees 50 percent of the cost of hotel quarantine.  

Black Sheep Restaurants

The Hong Kong restaurant group will be spending at least $650,000 to allow more than 250 staff to fly home and see their families, according to Christopher Mark, co-founder of the firm. 

The company will pay for flights, hotels and COVID-19 tests for employees and a daily dinner from one of its 32 restaurants while in quarantine. In return, staff taking advantage of the offer are asked to commit to working in the group for at least one year when they return.

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