This week is an exciting one for travel. If Hong Kong wants to see a lot of tourists, it needs to go a bit further.

Hong Kong eliminates hotel quarantine

Travelers will no longer be required to stay in Hong Kong's hotels as of September 26, 2022. In the past, Hong Kong has required a 21-day hotelQuarantine for inbound international travelers.

You won't be able to enter Hong Kong as you did before the pandemic, as there are still significant restrictions.

  • Travelers will need to be fully vaccinated, and as of November 30, 2022, will need to be boosted as well
  • A rapid antigen or PCR test will be required prior to travel
  • A PCR test will be administered upon arrival, though you won’t need to wait for the result before entering Hong Kong
  • Additional PCR tests will be required on days two, four, and six, in Hong Kong; if you ever test positive, you’ll need to quarantine
  • Once in Hong Kong, travelers will need to undergo three days of medical surveillance, and during that time they can’t visit bars, restaurants, fitness clubs, etc.

Since the beginning of the Pandemic, Hong Kong has taken strict precautions against coronaviruses. It is hard to say if Hong Kong is pursuing a zero coronaviruses strategy as we are seeing thousands of cases every day.

Hong Kong has made some positive changes when it comes to travel restrictions in the last few months. The Secretary for Health in Hong Kong said in July that an arrangement like this might be coming.

“Is nothing required any more? I think that would be a bit tough. At least PCR testing is needed. But does quarantine have to be confined to a fixed location? Could it be medical surveillance, plus a yellow code and not appearing in a bar for the first few days? I won’t rule that out. I very much hope to achieve that as well because I like to travel too.”

Hong Kong has reopened to quarantine-free travel

This is a step in the right direction, but not enough

It is a step in the right direction that it will now be possible to go to Hong Kong without being in a hospital. It will be useful for people who haven't seen their friends in Hong Kong in a while. This could be useful for those doing important business.

The policy is not going to draw casual travelers. Being unable to attend many venues for three days will be a deal-breaker for most.

The countries that initially took the strictest approaches to managing coronaviruses have moved on to the next phase of the Pandemic. Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore have all completely eliminated travel restrictions.

At this time, Hong Kong is in an odd position. Hong Kong won't be able to get back to having daily cases in the single or double digits, yet policies are created as if that's the case I am curious to see how Hong Kong changes over time. Will Hong Kong eventually just rip the band-aid off and reopen?

This policy still won’t attract many casual visitors

Bottom line

Hong Kong plans to reopen with no restrictions on travel. Hong Kong still requires pre- travel testing, up to four tests on arrival, and a three day watch, so don't expect many visitors.

I think it's a step in the right direction, but not enough.

What do you think of Hong Kong's decision to stop quarying?