The government revealed today that from September 26 onwards, the city will finally be allowing travellers to enter the city without having to go through mandatory hotel quarantine.
In the press conference, authorities announced a resumption of quarantine-free entry to the city. Instead of the previous 3+4 quarantine format, arriving tourists and residents will go through a new 0+3 arrangement, which will allow arrivals to return home or stay in a hotel of their choice to undergo three days of medical surveillance. During those three days, they are allowed to go out as long as they comply with RT-PCR test requirements.
Arrivals are no longer required to get an RT-PCR test before boarding flights to Hong Kong, but negative RAT results within 24 hours of boarding are mandated. Upon arrival, a PCR test must be conducted at the airport, but there will be no need to wait for the result before they can either return home or go to a hotel. Travellers entering the city can choose any form of public transport when leaving the airport.
In addition, there will no longer be a daily quota for travellers coming to Hong Kong under the Come2hk and Return2hk scheme, while unvaccinated Hong Kong residents can also onboard flights to return to the city.
This news comes after Japan and Taiwan announced amendments to their tourist entry restrictions for October. News of the new travel arrangement and easing restrictions of neighbouring countries prompted Hongkongers to book and plan overseas travel. According to Eddy Yip, the e-commerce lead for Hong Kong and Taiwan at travel site Trip.com, on September 22, searches for flights recorded a 20 percent increase over the same period last week. "From 10pm, when Japan announced that tourists would be allowed to travel freely and the upper limit on the number of inbound passengers lifted, the number of Hong Kong users searching for flights had tripled compared to the same period last week," he adds.
Japan plans to remove visa and mandatory group travelling by October
Travelling to Hong Kong? Here's what you need to know
Best quarantine hotels in Hong Kong
Things you need to know about Hong Kong's social distancing restrictions