The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a global pandemic on 11 March 2020. Under such circumstances, apart from maintaining good personal hygiene, reducing social contacts and avoiding non-essential travels, it is important to closely monitor the development of the pandemic and follow the advice and regulations issued by the local authorities.
For ease of reference, below are the websites of the relevant local authorities of the nine countries covered by London ETO –
|Country||Website of the local authority|
|The United Kingdom||https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response|
On 4 January, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government activated the “Serious Response Level” for the “Preparedness and Response Plan for Novel Infectious Disease of Public Health Significance”. On 25 January, the “Emergency Response Level” was activated.
The HKSAR government has implemented a comprehensive and co-ordinated approach to contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of the community while maintaining Hong Kong’s position as an international city and aviation hub. The Government response is guided by three key principles: responding promptly, staying alert to the situation, and working in an open and transparent manner.
The HKSAR government has launched the COVID-19 Thematic Website to disseminate relevant information and useful resources, including health advice, clarifications, a dashboard showing the COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong, and the situation of various countries / areas.
The HKSAR government has introduced travel restrictions and health quarantine arrangements for inbound travellers from overseas to prevent further importation of cases.
Starting from 0.00 a.m., on 25 March 2020 (HK time), except for Hong Kong residents, all travellers arriving Hong Kong by flights from overseas countries/territories will be denied entry. The same restriction will also apply to non-Hong Kong residents travelling to Hong Kong from the Mainland of China, Macao and Taiwan who have been to any overseas countries/territories in the past 14 days. The above temporary restrictions will remain in force until further notice.
Starting from 0.00 a.m., on 1 October 2020 (HK time), a HK resident travelling from the UK to HK is required to undergo a nucleic acid test for COVID-19 before being checked-in for the flight to HK. The same requirements apply to a HK resident who has stayed in the UK during the 14 days before boarding the flight to HK. From 0.00am., on 24 December 2020 (HK time) until further notice, anyone (including a Hong Kong resident) who has stayed in the UK for more than 2 hours on the day of boarding or during the 21 days before boarding day are not allowed to board for Hong Kong. For details, please refer to this page.
Starting from 0.00am., on 26 October 2020 (HK time), a HK resident travelling from Russia to HK is required to undergo a nucleic acid test for COVID-19 before being checked-in for the flight to HK. The same requirements apply to a HK resident who has stayed in Russia during the 14 days before boarding the flight to HK. For details, please refer to this page.
Starting from 0.00am.,on 25 December 2020 (HK time) until further notice, all persons who have stayed in South Africa, apart from the UK, for more than two hours in the past 21 days will not be allowed to board for Hong Kong.
Transfer / transit services at the Hong Kong International Airport, which had been temporarily suspended since 25 March, has been gradually resumed from 1 June. Please refer to the announcement of the Airport Authority here for the detailed arrangement. Transfer/transit services at Hong Kong International Airport for passengers from airports in Mainland China will resume with effect from 15 August 2020 until 15 October 2020. However, transfer/transit services to destinations in Mainland China at Hong Kong International Airport will remain unavailable. Please refer to this press release of the Airport Authority for details."
From 0.00am 25 December 2020 onwards, all persons arriving at Hong Kong (either via the airport or land boundary control points) who have stayed in places outside China on the day of arrival at Hong Kong or during the 21 days before that day have to undergo compulsory quarantine for 21 days in designated quarantine hotels (see list of designated hotels for the second cycle from 20 February to 20 April 2021 from here). The designated quarantine hotels can only receive the inbound travellers arriving in Hong Kong from countries outside China who are subject to compulsory quarantine and the Government will also arrange designated transportation for sending them to designated quarantine hotels. For details, please visit this website.
Furthermore, any person aged six or above who arrives at Hong Kong on or after 2 December 2020 and is placed under quarantine, must undergo another testing on the 19th or 20th day following the person’s arrival at Hong Kong.
Several groups of persons, who are travelling from the Mainland, Taiwan or Macao for recognised purposes relating to manufacturing operations, business activities or the provision of professional services in the interest of Hong Kong’s economic development, are exempted from the requirement. The contact details of the relevant government bureaux / departments are as follows for reference.
|Exemption types||Relevant bureaux / departments||Enquiry numbers||Enquiry
|Mechanism for persons engaged in technological research and development co-operation-related activities in the Mainland, Macao or Taiwan||Innovation and Technology Commission||(852) 2594 5602
(852) 2594 5932
|Mechanism for the University of Hong Kong - Shenzhen Hospital and Hong Kong enterprises providing medical or dental services in the Mainland||Food and Health Bureau||(852) 3509 8953||exempt_med599C@fhb.gov.hk|
|Mechanism for enterprises with provision of construction-related professional services in Mainland||Development Bureau||Depending on your profession. Please click here for the details.|
|Mechanism for registered practice units of Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants||Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau||(852) 2810 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Mechanism for legal and dispute resolution services providers||Department of Justice||(852) 3902 email@example.com|
|Mechanism for enterprises with operating base relating to logistics, port and/or shipping business in Mainland||Transport and Housing Bureau||(852)3509 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Mechanism for directors of listed companies or listing applicants on duty travel from the Mainland||Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau||(852) 2810 email@example.com|
|Mechanism for directors and executives of specified listed companies travelling to / from the Mainland for the purpose of carrying out essential business activities||Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau||(852) 2810 firstname.lastname@example.org|
Relevant inbound travel related measures could be found in the COVID-19 Thematic Website.
The HKSAR government strongly urges members of the public to avoid non-essential travel outside Hong Kong. In view of the health risks arising from the persistent and rapid increase in COVID-19 cases worldwide, the Red Outbound Travel Alert was issued on 17 March on all overseas countries/territories.
The COVID-19 Thematic Website has set out our general travel advice for reference.
For enquiries, please contact HKETO London at email@example.com, or at +44-(0)20-7499 9821. HKETO London operates during office hours, and so phone enquiries received outside office hours would be recorded as messages for subsequent follow-up.
For emergency assistance, Hong Kong residents outside Hong Kong may call the Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit 24-hour hotline at +852-1868.
For consular service, the consular service hotlines of the Chinese Embassies in the 9 countries covered by HKETO London are listed below for your easy reference:
|Embassy||Consular Service No.|
|Chinese Embassy in Denmark||+45-39460866|
|Chinese Embassy in Estonia||+372-5114016|
|Chinese Embassy in Finland||+358-40-8677838|
|Chinese Embassy in Latvia||+371-65969123|
|Chinese Embassy in Lithuania||+370-6860 7740|
|Chinese Embassy in Norway||+47-93066621|
|Chinese Embassy in Russia||+7-499-951-8661|
|Chinese Embassy in Sweden||+358-40-8677838|
|Chinese Embassy in the United Kingdom||+44-(0)20-74368294|