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Hong Kong International Airport
Photograph: Courtesy Hong Kong International Airport

Travelling to Hong Kong? Here's what you need to know

A step-by-step guide to help you prepare for your entry into the city

Tatum Ancheta
Written by
Tatum Ancheta
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From December 29, 2022, Hong Kong scrapped the mandatory RT-PCR tests for arrivals entering the city. Travellers coming to Hong Kong will no longer get an Amber Health code and can freely move around the city. Though presenting negative results from RT-PCR tests conducted within 48 or rapid antigen tests (RAT) taken within 24 hours are no longer required, the government recommends travellers take them and retain the photo of the RAT result or the PCR test report for 90 days.

We've compiled a guide to help you with everything you need to know when entering the city, from things to prepare before arriving at Hong Kong International Airport to all the steps you must take as soon as you land.   

RECOMMENDED: Keep updated with the latest Covid measures in the city

Who can return to Hong Kong now?
Photograph: TA

Who can return to Hong Kong now?

Hong Kong residents do not need to be fully vaccinated to enter the city, but only fully vaccinated non-Hong Kong residents are allowed entry. Those who cannot get vaccinated for Covid-19 due to medical reasons must have valid proof. 

The government allows travellers who have recently recovered from Covid-19 to enter the city if they can show proof of recovery 14 to 90 days before boarding the flight. A negative rapid antigen test result within 24 hours of boarding a flight is also required.

Will they allow entry if my visa is expiring?

If you're not a permanent Hong Kong resident and travelling under a work or tourist visa, ensure your visa has a sufficient validity period, or you will be denied entry. 

The Immigration Department (ImmD) provides electronic services for visa application and 'e-Visa' arrangements, allowing applicants to complete the entire process without going to the immigration office in person. Suppose your visa is under renewal and is getting delayed. It is best to send an authorised representative to the ImmD office to fix your reentry as emails and phone calls will take a long time. 

Visit this link to see ImmD online services for acquiring Hong Kong visas. 

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What are the requirements to enter Hong Kong?

  • Negative RAT results taken within 24 hours or an RT-PCR test result conducted within 48 hours of boarding are not mandated, but the government recommends that travellers to still take and retain the photo of the RAT result or the PCR test report for 90 days. 
  • Hong Kong residents do not need to be fully vaccinated to enter the city. Non-Hong Kong residents aged 12 or above are required to be fully vaccinated and show recognised vaccination records or obtain a medical exemption certificate.  
  • Upon arrival, a PCR test will no longer be conducted at the airport.

For more updates, visit the government's website. For travellers who recovered from Covid-19, visit this link for relevant arrangements.

Can arrivals move freely around the city?

Yes. Since December 14, 2022, the 0+3 arrival arrangements that require travellers three days of medical surveillance no longer apply. Arrivals will no longer get an Amber Health Code and can freely move around the city but must follow the city's current social distancing regulations, which include mask-wearing in public places and on public transport. 

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How many Covid-19 tests do you have to take when you enter Hong Kong?
Photograph: Shutterstock

How many Covid-19 tests do you have to take when you enter Hong Kong?

You don't need to present negative Covid-19 results when entering Hong Kong. Once you arrive in the city, RAT and RT-PCR tests are no longer required. However, you should keep your negative RAT or RT-PCR test reports for 90 days for presentation and checking on request by government personnel. This test may be declared voluntarily at the Department of Health's electronic health declaration form

Ok, so you finally booked your flight, what to do next?
Photograph: Courtesy Hong Kong International Airport

Ok, so you finally booked your flight, what to do next?

To ensure a smooth and efficient arrival, prepare all your travel documents, including vaccination records for Non-Hong Kong residents. 

The government has implemented the upgraded health declaration system. This allows travellers to complete the electronic health declaration and input other information required for inbound travellers. Registration for the electronic health declaration must be completed before travellers can board a flight to Hong Kong. After registration, you will receive a generated QR code with all your supplied information. 

Printed health declaration forms are no longer applicable in the airport. Issuance of medical surveillance notices, vaccination records and Provisional Vaccine Pass QR codes will be done electronically. 

Should you encounter any hiccups while filing the form online, seek assistance from the airport staff upon arrival in Hong Kong. 

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What time should I go to the airport for departure? 

Delays, cancellations, and a whole lot of waiting may happen before departure, so make sure to be at the airport at least three hours before your flight. Account for extra time if you encounter any problems with airline check-in. 

Arrival at Hong Kong International Airport
Photograph: Courtesy HKIA

Arrival at Hong Kong International Airport

Yes, you’re finally in Hong Kong… but not just yet. You still have a few more steps to finish before entering. Though the new system significantly cuts the waiting time in the airport, the influx of inbound travellers may affect processing time.

Once you get to the airport, you can proceed with immigration procedures, baggage collection, and continue to take any public transportation to your hotel or home.

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What are the options for airport transfers?

Travellers arriving in the city can take public transport to their destination. Those who want a limousine service can contact their hotels for arrangements. One of the fastest ways to travel from the Airport to the city is through Airport Express.

Find more information here

What if I tested positive for Covid-19?

If your Covid-19 test results come back positive during your stay in the city, infected individuals will be restricted from leaving home or their hotel. Those who test positive may voluntarily declare their RAT test on this government website, and request transfer to a public hospital facility should the patient require medical attention.   

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