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FDHs may book quarantine stay at Penny’s Bay from Sept. 14

10 September 2021

By The SUN 

Penny's Bay will be opened to FDHs starting Sept 20 at $480 a night

Foreign domestic helpers who have been vaccinated in Group A (high risk) specified places may start booking their 21-day quarantine stay at Penny’s Bay from 9am on Sept 14, six days before the facility opens its doors to them.

This was announced by the government in a statement issued tonight, Sept. 10, which also said that the quarantine facility will take in only 50 FDHs “at most” per day.

The cost will be $480 per night, inclusive of three meals a day. A maximum of 800 rooms will be made available to the FDHs in the order of submission of applications.

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Room reservations may be made through the FDH Portal of the Labour Department (LD) (www.fdh.labour.gov.hk).

With an estimated 4,000 to 6,000 FDHs waiting to take up their jobs in Hong Kong, it is expected that there will be a surge in booking applications for Penny’s Bay.

The first quarantine facility designated for incoming FDHs, the 400-rooom Silka Tsuen Wan hotel, became fully booked as soon as it opened its online reservation system. Reports say no rooms in the hotel will be available until November.

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The competition for rooms could become even more intense now that Hong Kong has allowed FDHs coming from all Group A countries to enter. Previously, only those vaccinated in the Philippines and Indonesia could come in.

The government’s statement tonight said the quarantine bookings will also be open to FDHs who were vaccinated in Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.

Still in doubt is whether FDHs coming from these countries who obtained their vaccination in a third place (like Bahrain for a number of Filipina DHs) would be allowed to board flights for Hong Kong and quarantine in the designated facilities.

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The government statement said, "In order to arrange FDHs to come to Hong Kong in a gradual and orderly manner and to guard against imported cases, PBQC will receive at most 50 FDHs every day. The booking system will show the rooms available for booking in the coming 30 days.”

Once an application for room reservation at Penny’s Bay is received, Labour will acknowledge receipt within one or two days and request the applicant to provide relevant documents (i.e. a copy of the FDH's passport, a valid employment visa and a recognised vaccination record).

“After verifying the relevant documents, the LD will issue a demand note to the applicant. The applicant must settle the payment and produce the payment receipt within the specified period of time. The booking process will be completed upon issuance of a booking confirmation by the LD,” said the statement.

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If an applicant does not submit the documents required and settle payment within the required period, the booking may be cancelled.

The booking may be changed or cancelled if (1) the applicant tests positive for Covid-19 before check-in; (2) if the airline change or cancel flights or (3) there is a lockdown, provided supporting documents are submitted in advance.

“If there is a need to cancel a confirmed booking and apply for a refund or change the check-in date due to other special circumstances, the LD will exercise flexibility having regard to the individual merits of each case,” said the statement.

The view from one of the rooms in Silka Tsuen Wan

FDHs are reminded that before boarding their flight to Hong Kong, they must hold a recognized vaccination record, have a valid visa, a negative result for a RT-PCR test conducted within 72 hours before the scheduled flight, and booking for their 21-day quarantine at a designated facility.

Employers and employment agencies, in turn, are advised to allow sufficient time for preparing the required documents and should only book the air ticket for their FDHs after successful confirmation of a booking in a designated quarantine facility.

As for FDHs who were vaccinated in Hong Kong, they have been allowed to come back from Group A countries since Aug. 9. They are also allowed to book their 21-day quarantine in any of the regular designated quarantine hotels.

However, they also have the option of spending their quarantine at either Silka Tsuen Way or Penny’s Bay starting from Sept 21.

Enquiries may be made by calling the Labour Department’s hotline, 2717 1771 or by email to fdh-enquiry@labour.gov.hk.

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