Workers clean an area for arriving passengers before they board buses to their quarantine hotels amid the COVID-19 pandemic, at Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong on March 21, 2022. (DALE DE LA REY / AFP)
HONG KONG - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government said on Saturday that it was increasing the number of designated quarantine hotels (DQHs) to meet the demand of Hong Kong residents returning from overseas and foreign domestic workers.
In a statement issued on Saturday night, the government said it decided to convert 13 hotels, which have earlier been turned into community isolation facilities, back to DQHs to provide over 4,400 rooms starting April 1.
The government said it decided to convert 13 hotels, which have earlier been turned into community isolation facilities, back to designated quarantine hotels to provide over 4,400 rooms starting April 1
The government has also asked existing DQHs to release around 500 blocked-off rooms to meet the demand.
“To sum up, there will be 38 DQHs providing over 10,000 rooms in total for selection by Hong Kong residents returning from places other than the mainland and Macao,” the statement reads.
Three hotels currently designated as isolation facilities will also be reserved for foreign domestic workers starting from April 1.
Along with one existing quarantine facility for helpers, the four hotels will provide about 1,600 rooms, the government said.
The government made the decision after announcing that, starting April 1, the ban on flights from Australia, Canada, France, India, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, the United Kingdom and the US would be lifted and the quarantine arrangement for Hong Kong residents returning from overseas would be adjusted.
City residents will be allowed to board flights to Hong Kong if they were fully vaccinated and hold a recognized vaccination record, tested negative for COVID-19 thru a nucleic acid test 48 hours before their flight, and have a quarantine hotel reservation for seven or 14 nights.
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If they have received at least two doses of COVID-19 vaccines, they may leave quarantine on the seventh day if the results of their rapid antigen tests on the sixth day and the seventh day are negative.
Non-Hong Kong residents will not be allowed to board flights for the SAR from any overseas area, the government said.
The government also adjusted flight suspension mechanism, saying that flights will now be suspended for seven days if three or more passengers tested positive for COVID-19, or if one passenger tested positive and one more traveler did not comply with travel requirements.
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