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Govt adds tests for new arrivals, tightens rules at quarantine hotels

14 May 2021

By The SUN 

Quarantine hotels are advised to only fill 80% of their rooms

The government has tightened infection control at designated quarantine hotels, including requiring more tests for guests and allowing only registered nurses to conduct the swabbing.

The announcement came after expert studies showed that the index patient in the spread of the coronavirus variant in the community had caught it from a next-door neighbor in the Ramada Grand Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui where he spent his 21-day quarantine.


A press statement released earlier said a Filipino man was the original carrier of the variant that was passed on in the hotel to an Indian returnee from Dubai, who in turn infected nine other people in the community.

At least three foreign domestic workers – two Filipinas and one Indonesian - who tested positive after ending their quarantine and joining their employers, are also believed to have been infected in their respective hotels.

Pindutin para sa detalye

In a statement, the government said that apart from the initial test at the airport, new arrivals will face further tests while in hotel quarantine, including one on the third day.

Depending on where the traveler had come from, the number of tests will be increased proportionately to the length of quarantine.

Aside from the arrival test, those on 21-day quarantine will be tested 4 more times 

For those on 7-day compulsory quarantine, the tests will be increased to two, while those coming from extremely high-risk or very-high countries like the Philippines (if the flight ban is lifted), will face four additional tests during their mandatory 21-day hotel isolation.

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In addition, those who come from extremely high-risk and very high-risk places and those on shortened quarantine periods will face further mandatory tests after completing quarantine.

“To strengthen quality assurance of testing,” the government said it now requires testing contractors to ensure that all swab takers are either a registered nurse or an enrolled nurse, with experience in specimen collection by swabbing. 


The contractors are also obliged to ensure that the officer-in-charge of specimen collection is either a registered doctor, nurse or other healthcare professionals with at least three years' relevant experience.

In relation to this, the government held a training session on combined nasal and throat swab for representatives of the two existing contractors for collecting and processing specimens for testing.

Pindutin para sa detalye

Noting that a large number of arrivals from high-risk areas tend to book their stay at some designated quarantine hotels, the government advised the hotels to lower their occupancy rate to 80 percent.

Hotels have also been advised to separate guests returning from high-risk areas from those in different zones, like putting them on different floors as far as practicable, and ensure air purifiers are installed on each floor.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love.

In addition, they should remind guests not to open windows before opening their door, or while conducting combined nasal and throat swab sampling.

Hotel staff shall be tested every seven days, instead of every 14 days.

Meanwhile, only one case of Covid-19 infection was reported today, and it involves a 43-year-old man who arrived from the United Arab Emirates who tested positive on arrival at the airport. He was asymptomatic.

He took the total tally in Hong Kong to 11,819.

In the past 14 days, a total of 47 cases have been reported, nine of which were local infections. Only one of these was from an unknown source.



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