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HK to designate more hotels for incoming FDHs

02 January 2022

By The SUN

Law chats with a parent during a recent visit to a pre-school in Sham Shui Po

Hong Kong will soon designate more hotels as quarantine facilities for foreign domestic helpers to enable the territory to absorb more arrivals and thus stop the decline in FDH numbers, according to Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong.

 “I hope that good news will be announced in the short term,” Law said in his blog dated Jan 2.

These developments are expected to benefit thousands of FDHs who have been stranded in the Philippines because quarantine hotels have been fully booked. 


One employment agency manager said employers were even offering bonus payments to them if they could book their helpers in the designated hotels.

Hong Kong’s efforts to open further to new arrivals follow a decline in FDH numbers from  400,000 to 350,000 since January. November alone saw a drop of 1,400, Law said.

This despite new Immigration regulations that extended the visas of FDHs already in Hong Kong to when their replacements could arrive.


“The decline in the number of FDHs is not only affecting the relevant Hong Kong families and those who need FDHs’ care; as some family members need to leave their jobs to take care of their families, the labor market and many industries in Hong Kong will also be affected,” Law said. “If the situation continues, it may affect the ability of Hong Kong's overall economic recovery.”

The new hotels will add new capacity to the 1,000 rooms already being provided by the Rambler Garden Hotel and Courtyard by Marriott Hong Kong Sha Tin, and the 1,138 rooms opened at the Regala Skycity Hotel after Penny’s Bay was closed to arriving domestic workers.


The Regala Hotel had been opened to accommodate FDHs who could no longer check into Penny's Bay Quarantine Center, which had been reserved to quarantine other categories of arriving passengers.

In effect, the third quarantine hotel did not add to the number of FDHs accommodated.

“It can also be said that the number of foreign domestic helpers coming to Hong Kong has not rebounded sharply in a short period of time in compliance with the principle of anti-virus import,” Law explained.


Hong Kong, however, will keep a watchful eye for infected FDHs.

Before Christmas, the pandemic situation in the Philippines – Hong Kong’s leading source of FDHs -- had been improving, with daily average even hitting as low as 98 cases,


Nevertheless, health officials were watching a resurgence of Covid-19 after Christmas, which has resulted in the suspension of flights from Manila by Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines, after bringing in cases of Covid-19 with the Omicron variant.

Law said, “… it remains to be seen whether they can avoid the risk of a new wave of epidemic rebound."

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