With COVID 19 coming in strong waves once again, the rules and regulations around the world have gotten tighter. Therefore, it can be incredibly difficult for anyone to travel internationally.
During these times, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highly recommends that you do not travel. The reason is that travelers can get the coronavirus on their travels, or they can spread the strains common in their region.
However, there are no complete restrictions on travel. You can still go around to many countries of the world if you have a genuine reason. If you want to travel from countries like the UK, you will have to complete a declaration form to fly internationally legally.
If you must travel to Hong Kong and your country is allowing you to travel internationally, let’s go over the things you should know before leaving home.
Before You Leave For Hong Kong
Before booking a flight or leaving for Hong Kong, you must find out whether or not the airport security will even let you through the gates.
Hong Kong is not allowing travelers from all countries to enter. Therefore, you should find out whether or not you’re on the list to avoid wasting money.
If you’re good, then you need to get a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of your departure. Considering that there can be delays in the flight, you should get the test on the day of the departure or as close to it as possible.
Besides getting the coronavirus test, you should ask your doctor if you have a higher risk of getting severely ill on the off chance you get infected with COVID-19.
Furthermore, if you’re eligible for the vaccine in your country, you should consider getting vaccinated before leaving. However, you will need to book a flight at a date that is two weeks after your second dose.
Since you never know when you can get the coronavirus, you should consider getting a travel health insurance policy before leaving as well. If something does happen while you’re away, the insurance can be of significant help.
When You Arrive At the Hong Kong International Airport
When your plane lands at the Hong Kong Airport, you will be immediately taken to the Temporary Specimen Collection Centre. The authorities have it set up in a restricted area of the Hong Kong International Airport. It is part of the Hong Kong airport arrival procedure.
Once you’re cleared from the TSCC, you can proceed with the immigration procedure and collect your baggage.
The wait time is usually up to four hours but can stretch up to 12 hours or more.
Before boarding your flight to Hong Kong, you will be given a Health and Quarantine Information Declaration form. It is an online form that you must fill out before getting on the plan. You can save the result or take a screenshot of it.
Once you reach the Hong Kong International airport, you will need to present the result to the relevant authorities. They will take a look at the result and provide instructions on what to do next.
The Dept. of Health will also be issuing mandatory 21-day quarantine orders to everyone who arrives at that airport. However, some persons will be exempt or have to stay in quarantine for only 14 days.
The persons under quarantine must stay within their homes or hotel rooms the entire time. They also have to keep a record of their personal health by checking their body temperature twice a day.
The Hong Kong government is very strict about the mandatory quarantine period. If you leave the premises of your quarantine dwelling, you will be subject to a penalty that could result in a fine and imprisonment.
The government will keep a check on you by monitoring your electronic device’s status, surprise phone calls, and in-person spot checks.
When you’re free to roam around in Hong Kong, you need to be very careful. Always take the necessary precautions. Carry an extra mask and hand sanitizer along with you wherever you go. You should also keep a reasonable distance and avoid any physical contact with anyone.
Before you leave Hong Kong, you should retake the COVID-19 test within 72 hours of your departure. Also, you must go through the procedure for getting through your arrival airport.
When You Come Back From Hong Kong
After getting through the Hong Kong International Airport, you might think you’re good. But, you might have to deal with plenty of rules and regulations in your place of arrival. For instance, you may be asked to quarantine yourself for a certain period at an approved hotel before you can go back to your home.
If the airport lets you through without a compulsory quarantine, you should consider staying isolated at home for around 10 to 12 days after arriving.
You should also consider getting a COVID-19 test one more time within five days of arriving. If the COVID-19 test comes back as negative, you should still consider a self-quarantine at home for around seven days.
In case your test comes back as positive, you should isolate yourself immediately. If you don’t feel well, you should contact the relevant authorities directly and notify them about your situation. They should be able to thoroughly guide you on what you should do next.
You should also go through your local authorities’ post-travel recommendations.
If you have some essential things to do and can’t quarantine yourself after getting back, you should at least do the following:
- Whether indoors or outdoors, keep a 2 meter or 6 feet distance from anyone who didn’t travel with you.
- Wear a mask, and keep an extra one on you when you’re in public. If the other members of your household didn’t travel with you, wear a mask with them as well.
- Wash your hands and use a sanitizer that has over 55% alcohol in it.
Monitor your health and look out for symptoms of COVID-19.