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HK lowers quarantine to 7 days for vaccinated travelers with antibodies

21 June 2021

By Daisy CL Mandap 

The new 7-day quarantine period will not apply to travelers from 'very high risk' to 'extremely high risk' places

Hong Kong is set to start allowing incoming travelers to spend only seven days in hotel quarantine if (1) they are fully vaccinated; (2) test negative for Covid-19 on arrival test, and (3) test positive for an antibodies test, also to be given at the airport (unless they are residents who should take the test before departure). 

But this rule, which is set to start on Jun 30, will not apply to travelers arriving from “very high-risk” countries which currently include only Ireland and Indonesia, who will still have to observe 21-day hotel quarantine.

For passengers in countries designated as “extremely high risk” like the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Nepal, South Africa and Brazil, a flight ban to Hong Kong will remain enforced.

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The shortened quarantine requirement was announced at a press conference earlier today, Jun 21, by Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who also disclosed a raft of relaxed gathering measures, particularly for indoor activities like wedding banquets and religious services.

However, she still ruled out allowing more than four people to gather in public.

The CE cited Hong Kong’s record of no new local infections being detected in the past 14 days as the reason for the relaxation of restrictions.

CE Lam says it's time HK reopened its borders with places in similar situation

“Given that the Hong Kong situation is relatively stable, I think…it’s time for us to appropriately reopen our borders, in particular, to places where the situation is similar to ours,” said CE Lam.


Controller of the Centre for Health Protection Dr Ronald Lam announced that three imported cases were detected as of midnight last night, involving two travelers from the United Kingdom and one from Indonesia.

All three passengers were found to carry the L452R variant of the coronavirus, which Lam noted, appears to be spreading quickly to many parts of the world.

Dr Lam said that in the past 14 days a total of 27 imported infections were recorded, and 17 of the patients were found to carry the mutated virus. Eight had the N501Y variant, and nine had the L542R, which recently caused a spike in infections in California.


In announcing the more relaxed entry rules for travelers from category B (high-risk countries like the United States, United Kingdom and Japan), the Chief Executive cited Europe’s similar move recently. She mentioned France in particular, as requiring no more than full vaccination for people entering the country.

For Hong Kong residents who plan to go abroad, she said they can start making appointments at a private clinic and test for antibodies so they would have already fulfilled one of the requirements for the shortened quarantine.

Test results obtained in Hong Kong will be effective for three months, which means those who get a positive result now can immediately qualify for the 7-day quarantine on their return as long as they were not away for a longer period.


In the second phase of the implementation, she said vaccinated travelers from other countries will be asked to give a blood sample on their arrival which will be used to check for antibodies. They will also be tested for Covid-19 and if the result is negative, they will be allowed to proceed to their hotel for quarantine.

During quarantine, the traveler will be given the result of the antibodies test. A positive result will cut short the visitor’s quarantine period to seven days.

All travelers, whether vaccinated or not, will still be subjected to multiple nucleic acid tests after arrival to avoid missing any cases.

In a separate press release, the CHP said the government also plans to allow non-Hong Kong residents who have been vaccinated and have only stayed in Groups B (high risk) C (medium risk) or Taiwan, to enter Hong Kong

For the full list of country designations, please check this link:

Currently, the only non-residents allowed to enter Hong Kong are those coming from Group D specified places (Australia and New Zealand).

The CE also said her government is still studying what to do with families that arrive with children and elderly people who are not eligible or suitable to be vaccinated.

For details of the new entry and quarantine requirements for people arriving in Hong Kong, please click this link:

As for the new gathering restrictions that take effect Thursday, the following new measures were among those announced:

  • Restaurants will be allowed to hold banquets for up to 180 people
  • For bars and clubs, up to four people may now sit together as long as all staff and customers have had at least one jab
  • Up to eight people may now sit together in a karaoke room if they have taken at least one dose of the vaccine
  • Private and public swimming pools can operate at up to 50% capacity if the staff are fully vaccinated
  • If members and staff of a gym are fully vaccinated they will no longer be required to wear masks
  • Religious gatherings, weddings and business meetings can be held at the venue’s full capacity if at least two-thirds of attendees have been vaccinated
  • There will be no changes in rules for public bath houses and cinemas

The full details are here:

CHP's Dr Lam urges more elderly people to get vaccinated

CHP’s Dr Lam expressed concern about the low vaccination rates of people aged 80 years old and above. He said only 4.6% of those in this age group have had a dose of a vaccine, while only 3.5% have had two doses.

He said there is a misunderstanding that elderly people or those with chronic illnesses should not be vaccinated. If they have taken the flu shot previously, they should not have any problems with a Covid vaccine.

Lam pointed out that of the 210 deaths attributed to Covid-19, 88% were patients aged 65 and above.

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