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HK bans passenger flights from UK, retains it for Phl & 6 other places

28 June 2021

By Daisy CL Mandap 

Passenger flights from the UK will again stop on Jul 1

Hong Kong has re-imposed a ban on all passenger flights from the United Kingdom, in line with existing boarding and quarantine regulations. The flight suspension will take effect from Jul 1, Thursday.

At the same time, a government statement issued today, Jun 28, said the current ban on other places designated as “extremely high risk” which includes the Philippines, will be retained.

“Considering that the epidemic situation is still unstable in existing extremely high-risk places, i.e. Brazil, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and South Africa, the existing restrictions on the aforementioned places under Cap. 599H will continue,” said the statement.


The announcement came as three imported cases of Covid-19 were reported today, involving a foreign domestic helper from Indonesia and two returnees, one from the UK and another from Namibia. All three have the L452R strain of the Delta variant.

In the past week, a total of 12 arrivals from the UK were found to carry the Delta variant, either on arrival or during quarantine. Two were detected on Jun 21, four on Jun 24, two on Jun 25, one on Jun 26, two yesterday, and 1 today.

Under Hong Kong’s anti-Covid regulation, if five or more passengers from a certain country test positive for a coronavirus variant on arrival test at Hong Kong airport within a seven-day period,  that place is automatically designated as “extremely high  risk.”

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This classification is also triggered when at least 10 people arriving from a place are found to carry a variant, by any test (including during quarantine), within one week.

“As the number of the relevant imported cases has reached the threshold mentioned above, the government will on July 1 invoke the place-specific flight suspension for the UK, and specify the UK as a Group A1 specified place,” said the statement.

12 variant carriers from the UK were detected on arrival in HK in the past week

In addition, the decision to move the UK back to category A1 for “extremely high-risk places was said to have been prompted by the rebound of Covid-19 cases, as well as the widespread detection of the Delta variant in the country.


The flight ban on the UK comes just four days after the country was reclassified as a Group A2 place, which allowed travelers from there to board a flight for Hong Kong, but must spend 21 days in hotel quarantine, whether or not they were vaccinated. They must also show a negative result for a swab test done no later than 72 hours before departure.

A flight ban is not new to the UK, though, as it was first stopped from flying passengers to Hong Kong in December last year amid record rises in the number of people getting infected with Covid-19.

This was gradually relaxed in April when residents were allowed to return via designated flights after a marked drop in Covid-19 cases in the country, as well as large-scale vaccinations

On May 7 Hong Kong re-classified the country as a “very-high risk” place, which meant that travelers from there could fly in via regular flights, but should strictly observe a 21-day hotel quarantine and submit a negative test result for Covid-19 before boarding.

From Jun 4, the UK was further downgraded to “high risk” Group B category, which allowed travelers from there to quarantine for only 14 days and skip the Covid-19 test prior to boarding. Twenty days later, the country was moved back to the “very high risk” category, which required stricter boarding and quarantine requirements.

"The Government 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," the statement said. 

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