Flying between HK-UK amid COVID-19 ⦁ 新政府疫情指引下,點飛去香港或英國?

COVID-19 testing

Updated: October 2020

Judy Chan is currently in Hong Kong, planning to come to the UK with her two daughters on a spouse visa. Judy and the kids need to fly to the UK in October to pick up their BRPs (biometric residence permits) and then fly back to Hong Kong to finalise their move, before joining her husband. The Hong Kong government’s new COVID-19 rules on inbound travellers are making it hard for her.

How are you preparing for your flight to the UK? ⦁ 疫情下你點預備飛去英國呢一程

I have disposable raincoats ready. I chose the type that has buttons on the front. They are very thin, because I worry the kids will get too hot for the long flight. I also bought face fields and I have wet wipes and hand sanitiser ready in 100ml bottles for hand carry. In terms of food, I will bring some dry food but we may have the food offered on flight. I don’t want to use the toilets on the plane so I will drink less, but I can’t control the kids. My plan for them is to stay up as much as they can before flying, so they can sleep through it.

Have you found clinics to do the nucleic acid test in the UK before flying back to HK?  ⦁ 你點樣搵喺英國做冠狀病毒病核酸檢測嘅測試地方

Yes, I searched for places that offer PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests, which is what the HK government asks for. It is important to find clinics or labs that will process your results within 24-48 hours. If you are using a lab that can only process your results within 72 hours, it may not meet the requirement, because the HK government wants you to prove that your sample “was taken… within 72 hours before the scheduled time of departure”.

So I found two options:

  1. Home testing is the first option. You can ask for test kit to be mailed to you, and you send it back to the lab for testing. This is the cheapest, but of course has time delay risks. The cheapest I found costs around £100 but you have to pay the postage yourself.
  2. The second one is to get tested in a clinic. It is more expensive but reliable in timing. The one that I was recommended costs £125 per person a few weeks ago, but the price has now jumped to £150 per person. But the good thing is, you get the results within 24 hours. 

I suggest emailing the test centres to see if the testing labs are ISO 15189 accredited, because the HK government requires certificate issued from accredited labs only.

How about arriving in HK, how will you handle the 14-day quarantine? ⦁ 飛返香港之後做嘅14日檢疫,你點安排

We cannot quarantine at home under the latest HK government guidelines, so I have to book a hotel for us. Remember, you need to book for 14 nights, not 13 nights, to comply with staying “in a hotel in Hong Kong for not less than 14 days starting on the day of the arrival.” There is a list of hotels from the government website. The cheapest option I found is around HK$200-300 per night (or £20-30 per night).

What about ordering food in the quarantine hotel? ⦁ 檢疫嗰時食嘢嘅安排係點

The hotel I plan to book says they will not provide food, and I will have to order for delivery. The food must be delivered to the room door, not the hotel lobby because the staff will not handle it for us. Alternatively, I can ask my family to deliver food to the room door, but they cannot come into the room of course. 

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