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All 7-day slots at Penny’s Bay snapped up in minutes

04 October 2021

By The SUN 

Rooms at Penny's Bay will be available for booking again on Oct. 11

All the 350 slots opened up for arriving foreign domestic helpers in Penny’s Bay quarantine centre have been snapped up within minutes after the booking reopened at 9am today, Oct. 4.

A check of the dedicated booking page for Penny’s Bay on the Labour Department’s website shows the button “start booking” no longer works.

That means, according to a previous announcement by Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong, all the daily quota of 50 rooms for the next seven available booking dates of Oct 22 to 28 have been filled up.

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This is despite the 200 additional rooms that Law said had been set aside at Penny’s Bay for newly arrived FDHs starting Oct. 22.

The booking site will reopen again on Monday, Oct 11, for the next weekly quota of 350 rooms, starting from Oct 29 to Nov. 4.

Among those waiting to secure one of the coveted slots are Filipina DHs who have had to renew their employment visas a couple of times because of the flight ban, and now, the difficulty of racing against thousands others who are also desperate to get to HK.


One of them, Helen Agudo, said her visa was expiring on Oct 21, and was hoping she could leave before then. Luckily, her supportive employer immediately applied for an extension of her visa, after probably realizing that the next available bookings at Penny’s Bay would be past the expiry date. 

Agudo, however, still doesn’t know when she can fly to HK.

Another FDH-in-waiting is Grace Cadiente, who said she has been waiting since March to come to Hong Kong. She is with a group of recruits who have reportedly secured all the required documents, except for their quarantine bookings and air tickets. 


Cadiente is afraid their employers have already backed out, but said their recruitment agency in the Philippines which collected Php31,000 from each of them, has not been giving them any updates, including whether it is even trying to secure slots for them at Penny's Bay.  

Thousands of FDHs are still waiting to come to HK despite strict boarding & quarantine rules 

Up to 7,000 FDHs who were stranded in the Philippines and Indonesia after Hong Kong imposed a flight ban on the two countries designated as high risk for Covid-19, are waiting to come to Hong Kong.

Those coming from the Philippines have been waiting to come since the flight ban was imposed on the country on Apr 20. The ban was extended to Indonesia on Jun 25.

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While the ban was lifted for all vaccinated travelers from the high-risk countries since Aug 30, FDHs have been arriving in trickles since Hong Kong decided to let only 50 of them in each day. On top of this, they can only spend their 21-day quarantine at Penny’s Bay or Silka Tsuen Wan Hotel.

Yesterday, Law ruled out increasing the daily quota for incoming FDHs, citing the 4.3% infection rate among Filipina DHs who arrived in Hong Kong from Aug 30 to Oct. 1.

He also said that only about 40 managed to come in each day. This is likely because the 10 others failed to meet strict pre-boarding requirements, including a negative Covid-19 test result within 72 hours of boarding their flights to Hong Kong, a confirmed booking at a designated quarantine facility, and a recognized vaccination card.

In a few documented cases, the FDHs were not allowed to board by airline staff on the mistaken belief that their Hong Kong visas which would expire while they were in quarantine disqualified them from entry to the city.

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