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Penny’s Bay to open to FDHs starting Sept 20

07 September 2021

By Daisy CL Mandap 

800 rooms at Penny's Bay will be allocated to FDHs at less than $500 per day

The government-run Penny’s Bay quarantine centre will start accepting foreign domestic workers vaccinated in either the Philippines or Indonesia starting Sept. 20.

This was announced by Chief Executive Carrie Lam in a press briefing earlier today, before the start of the Executive Council meeting.

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CE Lam said that “one week before the opening, we will accept bookings.”

The cost, as she announced a week earlier, is less than $500 a day, which is comparatively much cheaper than the $800 daily charge by Silka Tsuen Wan hotel, which was earlier designated as the only quarantine facility for incoming FDHs.

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With only about 400 rooms for use by the FDHs during their 21-day compulsory quarantine, Silka has been booked until November.

Penny’s Bay will be taking in 800 more FDHs, but this will still be sorely inadequate as an estimated 4,000 workers have been waiting for months to be allowed into Hong Kong.

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But government officials say they are deliberately limiting the entry of the stranded FDHs so as not to overwhelm the system.

With more countries being added recently to Hong Kong’s list of high-risk places, meaning travelers from there are required to quarantine for 21 days, many of the designated quarantine hotels have been fully booked way ahead of time.

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On the other hand, FDHs from the two high-risk areas were allowed to start entering Hong Kong from Aug 30, as long as they are fully vaccinated and hold a recognized vaccination certificate issued by their respective countries.

For those coming from the Philippines, the yellow-colored vaccination record issued by the Bureau of Quarantine is the only one recognized for entry into Hong Kong.

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Thus, those who were vaccinated in other places and cannot present the yellow card will still not be allowed to board a flight to Hong Kong.

Residents who were vaccinated in their home countries should also present their vaccination certificates as specified by Hong Kong, but they are free to spend their quarantine in any of the facilities designated by the government.

Those who got vaccinated in Hong Kong, whether residents of FDHs, may come in anytime, and could also choose their quarantine hotel.

Lam said yesterday's expansion of vaccination recognition to include four more high-risk countries - India, Pakistan, Thailand and Malaysia – came “after much hard work” as Hong Kong had to negotiate with each country on the type of inoculation proof it found acceptable.

CE Lam also announced the reopening of HK's borders with the Mainland and Macau

She also announced the resumption of the “Return to Hong Kong” and the launch of the “Come to Hong Kong” schemes starting Sept 8 and 15, respectively.

Under the first program, all Hong Kong residents coming from the mainland (except from six high-risk regions) and Macau will be able to return without undergoing quarantine.

Since Aug 5, this scheme has been limited to people returning from Guangdong province.

But since the program was implemented in November last year, Lam said more than 200,000 Hong Kong residents have returned with no single infection being detected.

The second scheme will see a maximum of 2,000 non-residents entering Hong Kong daily from either the Shenzhen Bay Port and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge Port.

Lam said all those coming to Hong Kong under either scheme will have to present a negative Covid-19 test result at the border, and be tested regularly after their arrival.

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