Hong Kong has imposed some of the strictest travel measures in the world. There has been a weird system of punishing airlines that bring coronaviruses to Hong Kong. The ridiculous system is about to end.

Hong Kong’s system for punishing airlines

Since the beginning of the Pandemic, Hong Kong has had a policy of punishing airlines that bring passengers with coronaviruses. If five people test positive for coronaviruses on a flight to Hong Kong, the airline will stop operating that route for a period of time.

The bans were initially for two weeks and then for a single week. Over 100 bannings have been issued this year.

This policy is insane.

  • Airlines simply enforce the testing requirements of the origin and destination, so it’s not like airlines are at fault for the number of people on a flight who arrive with coronavirus
  • Hong Kong’s policies (including this one) have created so much uncertainty for airlines that many airlines have just suspended service to Hong Kong, given the complexity involved
  • This policy created endless headaches for travelers, who may have been booked on a flight, but then had it canceled due to these bans, forcing them to scramble last minute to rearrange flights, rebook their quarantine accommodation, etc.
Hong Kong has had a ridiculous flight ban policy

The flight ban policy is finally being suspended

Effective immediately, the government of Hong Kong has stopped its flight ban policy. The government describes the decision.

“The social cost caused by the ‘circuit breaker mechanism’ is quite large, and it also brings unnecessary trouble to these international students and their families.”

It is being labeled as a suspension rather than a permanent policy change, so we will see if it comes back in the future.

This is a good step in the right direction. It was completely irrational to have this policy. Several policies are moving in the right direction, such as Hong Kong ending its transit ban, and Hong Kong ending its visitor ban.

Even with the changes, Hong Kong has a long way to go before it recovers from the epidemic.

Most travelers will not be able to enter Hong Kong due to the requirement of a one week quark. There is only one way for the government to take the steps needed for social and economic recovery.

I’d sure love to visit Hong Kong again!

Bottom line

The policy of banning airlines that bring in coronaviruses has been suspended. That was the most baseless travel restriction in the world and it is good to see that has changed.

Hong Kong is making small changes when it comes to travel, but the one week quark for visitors is a big deal. I hope that the policy in Hong Kong changes soon.

Hong Kong ended its flight ban policy.