What you need to fly back to Hong Kong ⦁ 疫情下飛番香港要注意嘅事項
Updated: October 2020
The second wave of coronavirus in the UK has made it harder for Hong Kongers to travel back home. The Hong Kong government has specified that every passenger needs a recent negative test result for COVID-19 and must stay for a 14-day period in a quarantine hotel on arrival.
Here are the details with the best links we could find to help you.
Permission to fly
The Hong Kong government has specified that each traveller has to have tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of their flight’s scheduled take-off time.
It must be a nucleic acid test. The most common one is PCR (polymerase chain reaction), but other valid tests include:
- Real-time PCR
- Real time RT-PCR
- Nucleic test
- Nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT)
- Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP)
- Molecular diagnostics/test
The test must show the person’s name exactly as it is on their passport.
You also need documentation to show the lab that carried the test is ISO 15189 accredited or officially recognised. This should not be a problem – just be sure to be able to show the accreditation when asked.
You need to have confirmation of a reservation in an approved quarantine hotel in Hong Kong where you will stay for at least 14 days, starting on the day of arrival.
Getting the test
The NHS will not supply the test. Their tests are currently only available to people showing symptoms, booking is difficult and turnaround is too slow.
You either have to book an appointment in a clinic, or have a test kit sent to you by post.
Postal kits are sent to you to take a sample at home. Follow the instructions to take samples from your mouth and send back to the lab in the supplied envelope. The lab will provide results online. You will need to send your sample 72 hours before you fly. Make sure they are fast enough to get the result to you.
Clinics offer an in-person service, which cuts out the postal step. Usually the results are posted online for you to download.
Be aware that some suppliers say their kits are only for adults age 18+.
There are lots of suppliers online if you search ‘fit to fly covid test’. Ying Goi Dim readers can get a 5% discount if they use Medicspot to do a fit to fly test.
Here is a list of all the medical laboratories in the UK accredited to test for COVID-19. You can use it to double-check your choice.
Booking the hotel
Your quarantine stay must be in a hotel that follows the “Health Advice on Prevention of COVID-19 for Hotel Industry (Interim)” as published by the Department of Health.
The Hong Kong government supplies this list of hotels that meet the standard, although other ones do too.
It is best to call your preferred hotel and talk in person to make sure they fulfil the requirement and how the quarantine works. i.e. How the deliveries of food or essentials by family members would work. And don’t forget to shop around for your booking – we have heard Agoda is cheaper for these listed hotels.
If you have done this and have any experience of these hotels, or advice on preparing for the 14-day quarantine, please share in a comment! Travelling on hand-baggage only is surely not recommended. Make sure you have everything you would need for the 14 day period.
Image: Lei Jiang on Unsplash