Responsive Ad Slot




Buhay Pinay



Philippine News

Join us at Facebook!

CE scraps plan to give antibody test at airport to shorten quarantine

17 August 2021

By Daisy CL Mandap


CE Lam says the government will follow experts' advise not to cut quarantine period

Chief Executive Carrie Lam has announced the scrapping of a plan to give antibody tests to non-residents arriving in Hong Kong so they can cut their quarantine period.  She also said even the ongoing serology tests given locally to residents before they go on trips abroad could be scrapped.

This, she said at a press conference held earlier today, is in line with the recommendation announced last night by a panel of experts advising the government on its pandemic response.


The plan, first announced by the experts on Jun 18, would have allowed people coming in to take the antibody test at the airport, and if they test positive, they could have their hotel quarantine cut to as short as seven days.

Residents who got inoculated here could get the antibody test done in a local laboratory before traveling abroad, and use their positive result within three months to enjoy the shortened quarantine on their return.

Call now!

The CE said that after their meeting last night, the experts advised the government that because of the prevalence of the Delta variant of the coronavirus in many parts of the world, it would be better “to err on the side of caution” and suspend the plan.

Lam said, “That means we will not be introducing Phase II which we have announced, that is for non-Hong Kong residents to get a certificate of antibody test in Hong Kong and then reduce the quarantine period. We may even have to suspend the Phase I for Hong Kong residents.”


She said the details would be announced later in the day by the Secretary for Food and Health.

The government leader extended her apologies to people whose travel plans may have been thrown in disarray by the scrapping of the plan, but said this is being done to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Hong Kong.


“We do not want to reverse our decisions on a frequent basis and we have managed not to do so since April 12 when I announced this new direction. But sometimes in order to err on the side of caution and to prevent the spread of the disease, we have to do it and this is why we are going to act in accordance with the experts' advice and announce the details later,” she said.

Lam said Hong Kong is forced to change its policies to keep up with the frequent change in circumstances relating to the spread of the Delta variant.


“This proves that it is not an exact science to deal with COVID-19. We have to continuously review the situation together with the experts and take account of their advice to design our policies,” she said.

The experts recommended that hotel quarantine should at least be 14 days

The experts advised last night that vaccinated residents arriving from medium-risk countries should not be allowed to spend less than 14 days in hotel quarantine, and undergo another week of self-monitoring.

If they are not vaccinated, they should spend 21 days in hotel quarantine. Non-residents from these places will no longer be allowed to enter, vaccinated or not.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

Only those coming from New Zealand, the only low-risk country on Hong Kong’s list, could qualify for the seven-day quarantine if they are vaccinated.

The experts met after a foreign domestic helper who flew in from the United States and managed to shorten her quarantine to seven days was found infected with the L452R mutant strain on her 12th day test.

Also yesterday, the government announced that 15 more countries, including the United States, United Arab Emirates, France, Spain and Thailand, were being relegated to the high risk category.

This means that like the nine places previously listed under this category, only residents coming in from these countries will be allowed to enter Hong Kong.

In addition, they must all be fully vaccinated, hold recognized vaccination records, test negative for a PCR test conducted within 72 hours of departing for Hong Kong, and present a confirmed booking for a 21-day stay in a designated hotel for quarantine.

Don't Miss