UK to drop quarantine rule for HK travellers

People travelling to the United Kingdom from Hong Kong will not have to quarantine from Monday, after the UK government early on Thursday moved the SAR to its so-called Covid green list for travel.

Under the latest rules, travellers from Hong Kong will still have to take a test before departing for Britain and again two days after their arrival. Previously, Hong Kong was on Britain’s amber list, meaning travellers had to quarantine for ten days.

The same rules will also apply for travellers from Taiwan.

However, travellers looking to return to Hong Kong from Britain will be unable to do so, given that a ban on flights, implemented on July 1, remains in effect.

SAR authorities announced the ban on June 28 – less than two months after a previous flight ban had been lifted – citing a rebound in coronavirus cases and the spread of mutated variants in Britain.

Hong Kong had also classified the UK as an extremely high-risk area. Anyone who has stayed in the country for more than two hours in the previous 21 days is banned from entering the SAR.

Britain has been easing coronavirus restrictions in recent weeks, citing a high level of vaccination, despite a surge in cases. The UK recorded a further 42,302 Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest daily increase since mid-January, and 49 deaths.

London has justified the easing of rules, saying the vaccine means hospital admissions and deaths are much lower than in previous waves.