Rapid tests to cut airport wait times from Monday

Inbound travellers will no long longer have to face long waits for Covid test results at the airport when a rapid test is introduced on Monday.

Health officials on Friday said on top of a PCR test on arrival, passengers will also be asked to take a rapid antigen test.

If the rapid test comes back negative, people will be allowed to go through immigration immediately and head to their designated quarantine hotels, where they will await their PCR test result.

Health officials added that passengers who test positive for Covid with a low viral load may not be deemed to be confirmed cases if they’ve recovered from the virus in the previous 90 days. They will therefore be allowed to continue to quarantine at their hotels.

“The relevant arrangements ensure the continued stringent control and management of importation risks while further shortening the stay of relevant inbound passengers at the airport,” a government spokesman said.

The new arrangement won’t apply to people who aren’t subject to hotel quarantine, such as those arriving from the mainland and Macau.