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UK reclassified as ‘very high risk,’ travelers to quarantine for 21 days

25 June 2021

By The SUN 

Travelers from UK will now present a negative PCR test result and quarantine for 21 days

Hong Kong will require all new arrivals from United Kingdom, vaccinated or not, to spend 21 days in hotel quarantine again starting on Jun 28, after moving the country back up to the A2 “very high risk” category.

Testing requirements which stipulate that UK arrivals must secure a negative result for a PCR-based nucleic acid test carried out no longer than 72 hours before departure will take effect from tomorrow, Jun 26.


A statement issued by the government Thursday night said the move was taken after “having closely monitored the epidemic developments there (UK), the prevalence of mutant virus strains and the case importation risks that may be posed to Hong Kong.”

Earlier in the day, three returning students from the UK, aged 18-21, were found to carry the Delta variant on their arrival in Hong Kong. Another, aged 17, tested positive for the highly contagious variant on third-day test while in quarantine.

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On Jun 21, two other newly arrived students, both 18 years old and female, also tested positive for  the variant that is causing a spike in cases in several countries, including the United States.

In December last year, Hong Kong specified the UK as an “extremely high-risk” place, and stopped everyone who had stayed in the country from traveling to the city.


The ban was eased in April, when Hong Kong residents were allowed to return via designated flights. That was after the UK adopted a series of anti-epidemic measures and large-scale vaccinations which led to a significant drop in the number of daily infections.

In May this was further relaxed when the UK was reclassified as a Group B “high risk country,” allowing travelers from there to enter via commercial flights, and spend 21 days in quarantine if they are unvaccinated, and 14 days if fully vaccinated.

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But due to a new surge in cases, with many of the patients found to carry the dreaded Delta variant, the UK was moved up to the Group A2 “very high risk” group, along with Ireland. This is just a notch lower than A1, which merits a country-specific ban.


The government said “it will continue to closely monitor the epidemic situation of various places, the prevalence of new virus variants, vaccination progress, and changes in the volume of cross-boundary passenger traffic, and will adjust the boarding and compulsory quarantine requirements for persons arriving at Hong Kong from relevant places as the situation warrants.”

Details on the grouping of specified places and their respective boarding and compulsory quarantine requirements can be found at

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