Hong Kong mulling shorter quarantine period for fully vaccinated travelers

Jun 10, 2021

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Hong Kong may be close to easing some of the world’s tightest COVID-19 restrictions.

An advisory panel of government officials is recommending cutting the mandatory quarantine period for fully vaccinated visitors in half — from 14 days to seven — according to The Straits Times.

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Under the proposed change, vaccinated people arriving from countries not deemed “high risk” would be eligible for the shorter quarantine period. The exemption would be contingent on travelers getting a positive antibody result from a test taken in Hong Kong after they arrive.

Loosening its restrictions would be a massive change for Hong Kong, which has had extremely tight protocols in place since the pandemic began. Most people traveling from abroad are required to wear a tracking bracelet and isolate in their hotel rooms for three weeks — 14-day quarantine plus a seven-day self-monitoring period.

Related: Hong Kong and Singapore delay their travel bubble — again

But recently, the government carved out some exceptions to allow high-level bankers more flexibility in a move seen as catering to Hong Kong’s all-important financial sector. Officials announced that two senior leaders at banks or insurance companies can apply each month for quarantine exceptions. Any applicants must be fully vaccinated to be considered.

The same panel advocating for a reduced quarantine period also supported lowering the age threshold for getting the vaccine to 12. That change will be implemented later this month.

Featured photo by Seng Chye Teo/Getty Images

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