Hong Kong Reopening Borders To Visitors, Quarantine Still Required

Hong Kong Reopening Borders To Visitors, Quarantine Still Required

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Hong Kong is slowly but surely reopening to visitors, though it’s going to take a lot more progress before I visit again.

Hong Kong will once again welcome foreigners

While many destinations have had extreme travel bans during the pandemic, Hong Kong has really taken it to the next level. In addition to being closed to foreigners for over two years, Hong Kong has required up to a 21-day quarantine in a facility, and has even banned airlines that imported coronavirus cases (as if airlines are somehow to blame).

Hong Kong has over the past several weeks experienced a huge omicron wave, with almost unheard of per-capita case numbers. With the realization that a zero-tolerance approach toward coronavirus doesn’t work, restrictions have been eased, and that’s a trend we’ll continue to see. As of May 1, 2022, Hong Kong will once again open to foreigners:

  • Foreigners will be allowed to enter Hong Kong, which hasn’t otherwise been possible
  • However, a one week quarantine in a designated facility is still required, along with extensive testing (just as is the case for residents returning to Hong Kong)

This is a far cry from a tourism reopening, though it is a step in the right direction. Foreigners being able to visit with a one week quarantine is more reasonable than not even being able to visit with the three week quarantine that was previously in place for residents.

I could see this being useful for some people conducting essential in-person business, or for those wanting to reconnect with family after being separated for over two years. But aside from that, I don’t think this will drum up much demand.

Hong Kong is ending its visitor ban

When will Hong Kong reopen without quarantine?

There’s no denying that Hong Kong is moving in the right direction. In April, Hong Kong ended its ban on airport transit passengers, and also shortened the mandatory quarantine period for residents to one week.

This is huge progress, though admittedly Hong Kong is still way behind places like Singapore, which now welcome vaccinated travelers with virtually no restrictions.

You’d think that with the coronavirus outbreak we just saw in Hong Kong, the government would abandon its zero-tolerance coronavirus strategy, realizing it doesn’t work.

But it’s also clear that Hong Kong’s approach isn’t just about public health, but the pandemic has also been used for mainland China to shut off Hong Kong from the rest of the world, and exert more control. It’s hard to have an educated guess as to when (or even if) Hong Kong will reopen without quarantine, since this seems more political than anything.

Hong Kong has historically been my favorite city in the world. It’s such a dynamic place. I just fear that it’ll never be the same…

Will Hong Kong ever be the same?

Bottom line

As of May 1, 2022, foreigners will be able to enter Hong Kong again for the first time in over two years. The catch is that a one week quarantine will still be required. While I can’t imagine this will drum up much interest from tourists, it’s at least a step in the right direction. Now the big question is when (or if?) Hong Kong will eliminate its quarantine requirement.

When do you think Hong Kong will reopen to visitors without quarantine?

Conversations (34)
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  1. John Chan Guest

    HK is dead! Leave now and don’t ever come back….

  2. iamhere Guest

    You act like Hong Kong has a choice in the matter. It does not. The problem is not about the quarantine and testing. The problem is what you don't discuss. If you test positive and also the requirements to board the flight, etc. It is unlikely that you can just book a ticket and fly. You just discuss the idea at a surface. There are many details in this that you lack discussing.

  3. Randy Gold

    Can you connect in HKG?

  4. ConcordeBoy Diamond

    I had the same feelings of whether HKG would ever be the same again, back during the SARS era.

    To my delight (and surprise), it managed to do just that.

    So here's hoping they do it again-- though, with such political upheaval, it's going to be way harder than before.

  5. JGB Guest

    Hong Kong’s current transit rules - even for a quick layover without leaving the airport - is equally insane.

    1. Merv Guest

      Very good for Hongkong. Definitely a step in the right direction. And its Economy. Especially.
      I hope its neighnours follow suit.

  6. Jan Guest

    The only way I would vist HK is when Xinnie the Flu leaves it alone. Since that won't happen, I'll never visit HK again.

    Great town when it wasn't as CCP infested as it is now - been there in 2018 and 2019.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      We're sure they'll mourn the terrible loss of you....

  7. Kelcy | Passport by Design Guest

    This may not affect tourism much. But I'm glad for all those who had family in other places. That they can visit one another. Had a layover in HK a few years ago. Never left the airport. Would still like to actually visit at one point.

  8. Sharanya Guest

    I dont think tourists will be interested to visit hk as the situation here is unpredictable..the residents themselves find difficulty in booking flights and quarantine hotels..it leads to furthermore chaos..it's better if atleast residents are allowed to home quarantine themselves..tourists may also find hotels without much trouble..

  9. Rainman Guest

    It's no use for any tourist to visit Hong Kong until the full restrictions are lifted. It's best to wait it out and go visit other countries that are smart enough to allow visitors with full vaccine. Ignore HK for now.

  10. Patty Guest

    It's not open if there is still quarantine requirements.

  11. Ken N Guest

    Wish HongKong government will read this blog

  12. RF Diamond

    Visiting HK with a 7 day hotel quarantine requirement is not practical for most people. Until that rule is gone HK is not really open.

  13. Cedric Guest

    Covid isn't even the first reason why I don't want to visit HK...

  14. AVGeekHNL New Member

    I agree with those who love the city. As a tourist, I'm there for the food and the people who are going about doing their daily living. The world is an imperfect place, things change, and you adapt. I get it that Hong Kong has changed politically and that some people would object to visiting that changed country. I enjoyed visiting mainland China and will do so when they open, too.

  15. Alonzo Diamond

    HK was never my favorite city. It was a transit city for me to get to Singapore, Bangkok, Macau, ect. I miss Macau way more than HK.

  16. Ken Guest

    What if one transits on a separate ticket? Have to book the quarantine hotel etc to board?

    1. RF Diamond

      Ken, you can get the latest info here.
      https://www.hongkongairport.com/en/passenger-guide/transfer-transit/

    2. Ken Guest

      Thanks but doesn't answer my question...

    3. Johosofat Guest

      That's still not possible. All transit passengers need to be on the same ticket and have their onward boarding pass issued at an upstream station as transit desks are closed. Arriving passengers who are not transiting will all be escorted to the testing centre. "Probably" if you refuse to go to the testing center and make enough fuss someone will get your onward boarding pass for you since they need to get you out of...

      That's still not possible. All transit passengers need to be on the same ticket and have their onward boarding pass issued at an upstream station as transit desks are closed. Arriving passengers who are not transiting will all be escorted to the testing centre. "Probably" if you refuse to go to the testing center and make enough fuss someone will get your onward boarding pass for you since they need to get you out of there somehow, but you might contribute to getting the inbound carrier banned for a week by being a passenger non-compliant with quarantine policies. But you would need to show the hotel booking at check-in for the HKG flight and don't expect them to interline any bags ha.

  17. A Moore Guest

    I'm looking forward to visiting Hong Kong again , hopefully by October the restrictions may be relaxed a bit more .
    A lovely country and now it's safe again after the 2019 disturbance will be all the better .

  18. JBM Guest

    I feel you. Hong Kong is my favorite city, too, but it isn’t the Hong Kong I remember and probably never will be.

  19. Rosh Guest

    Interesting to see how this visitors are allowed but wt quarantine… who ever comes to Hong Kong as a visitor with these rules must be a super duper die hard people who willing to confined the first seven days Ioc their visit in a quarantine hotel n to start visiting a deserted city on the 8th day .. btw that’s also only if u’re lucky escape wt all Negative.. otherwise u continue ur confined status… good luck!

  20. Adam L Guest

    I wouldn't go to Hong Kong again under any scenario. The Chinese government killed the golden goose. The key to business is stability and the CCP has shown itself to be totally capricious in its management of the territory.

    1. Max Guest

      the golden goose also stopped being so golden when its % of gdp dropped so heavily, so sadly it was inevitable that it was going to be brought more into line with the rest of CN...

  21. Hwong Kim Guest

    But there's not a Hong Kong worth visiting anymore. Too bad; I enjoyed living there, but I won't be back.

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      Nonsense.

      I feel sorry for residents/citizens, but once the COVID rules/restrictions end, Hong Kong won’t be any different for visitors/tourists.

    2. Matt Guest

      Yeah I'm aware that citizens have less freedoms they did than before, but tourism wise I don't see why anything would change? Tourists are just fine in the mainland, and presumably even if Hong Kong becomes more like mainland, tourism would be fine too....

    3. Brianair Guest

      The problem is that under the CCP, Hong Kong might not be as attractive as Beijing or Shanghai even to tourism. It’s increasingly looking like they’ll just become a suburb of Shenzhen or at best a second-tier Chinese city. Also, many PRC people dislike the reputation Hong Kong people build of being racist towards mainlanders or non-Cantonese speakers, so they’d want to get back at them and crack down hard on things like Cathay Pacific...

      The problem is that under the CCP, Hong Kong might not be as attractive as Beijing or Shanghai even to tourism. It’s increasingly looking like they’ll just become a suburb of Shenzhen or at best a second-tier Chinese city. Also, many PRC people dislike the reputation Hong Kong people build of being racist towards mainlanders or non-Cantonese speakers, so they’d want to get back at them and crack down hard on things like Cathay Pacific and Cantonese. Its reputation to the outside world is further tarnished by the violent protests. I come from a Cantonese speaking background and I hate how a beautiful city like Hong Kong is like that to outsiders.

    4. Mike Guest

      Brianair

      Both Beijing and Shanghai are about to turn into Xinjiang genocide camps because of the most recent Xinnie Flu outbreak. There has been unprecedented disruption in supply chain and day-to-day lives to the local people due to the CCP lockdown of neighborhoods. But the problem is, the more the CCP tries to lockdown, the worse the situation it becomes, and there is not any sign of improvement in curbing the spread by these means....

      Brianair

      Both Beijing and Shanghai are about to turn into Xinjiang genocide camps because of the most recent Xinnie Flu outbreak. There has been unprecedented disruption in supply chain and day-to-day lives to the local people due to the CCP lockdown of neighborhoods. But the problem is, the more the CCP tries to lockdown, the worse the situation it becomes, and there is not any sign of improvement in curbing the spread by these means. The government claims that it's for the people's common good and to avoid deaths from the Wuhan Virus, but if people can't get food, they are going to die from starvation anyways. Can't imagine what will happen if the CCP applies these measures to Hong Hong, but they should declare independence and completely break away from CCP's rulings before it's too late.

  22. mOjO jOjO Guest

    Wouldn't go there even if you pay me. The place has gone to the dogs. And Winnie the Pooh is using all means to snuff out CX for the CCP-backed Greater Bay Airlines.

    1. David Lam Guest

      Clearly have never been to Hong Kong. Yes freedoms have decreased since 2020 but 95% of foreigners here are living life just like before. I know a few exchange students here who are having the time of their life.

  23. John T Guest

    The pandemic is over.

    Places like Hong Kong and Japan are going to really suffer this year if they don't realise this.

    The rest of the world will move on (or already has moved on) and these cautious countries will get left behind.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

mOjO jOjO Guest

Wouldn't go there even if you pay me. The place has gone to the dogs. And Winnie the Pooh is using all means to snuff out CX for the CCP-backed Greater Bay Airlines.

3
JGB Guest

Hong Kong’s current transit rules - even for a quick layover without leaving the airport - is equally insane.

2
JBM Guest

I feel you. Hong Kong is my favorite city, too, but it isn’t the Hong Kong I remember and probably never will be.

2
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