Hong Kong guidelines for international visitors in tour groups to be relaxed

hong kong covid guidelines mask
hong kong covid guidelines mask

Hong Kong maintained some of the most stringent COVID guidelines for much of the pandemic. However, the city is figuring out ways to safely reopen its borders to tourists.

In a welcome move, international visitors holding an Amber Code on vaccine pass can visit venues in Hong Kong that allow mask-on activities from 17 November. Plus, travellers in tour groups can enter restaurants and other venues during the first three days of their visit.

Travellers in tour groups will be exempted from ‘Amber Code’ restrictions

Hong Kong has eliminated many of its stringent COVID-19 policies in recent months, including the mandatory 3-day hotel quarantine. And while the city has eased some of the pre-departure rules, vaccinated travellers must undergo a rapid antigen test 24 hours before their departure. In addition, travellers must undergo a PCR test on day 2, day 4, and day 6 respectively according to the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

In lieu of the hotel quarantine, travellers must continue to self-monitor for symptoms for three days. Currently, all inbound holding the Amber Code in vaccine pass are banned from entering restaurants, bars, gyms, and salons. With the latest development, travellers in tour groups will be exempted from this ban. Those not in groups will still have to abide by the existing rules. 

restaurant
restaurant

Travel agents must pre-register trip itineraries

Under the new arrangements, those travelling to Hong Kong in tour groups operated by licensed tourist guides will be allowed to visit tourist attractions. Parks and museums will also throw their doors open for tourists in groups. The travel agents must, however, pre-register trip itineraries with the Travel Industry Council in Hong Kong. Authorities are also looking at relaxing the number of COVID-19 tests for group travellers. The announcement came after financial executives attending a high-profile economic summit in Hong Kong expressed disappointment over the restrictions. 

With the economy tanking, the government finally threw open the city’s doors in September. But the push to revive Hong Kong, while welcome and long overdue, faces many challenges. While the “0+3” requirement is not enough to drive tourism, the relaxation for tour groups would help Hong Kong to cripple back to normalcy. With appropriate arrangements, the inbound travel market can resume orderly.



(Hero and feature image credits: Nic Low/Unsplash)

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