Travellers who fly into Hong Kong will have their specimens collected upon arrival and taken to designated hotels to be quarantined as part of stepped-up restrictions by the government to prevent imported novel coronavirus cases during the upcoming Christmas holiday.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Tuesday that medical staff would be stationed at the airport to collect samples from inbound travellers for Covid-19 tests. Currently, deep throat saliva tests are used.
She said arrivals would then be taken to designated hotels by designated transport for a 14-day quarantine period.
The measures will be implemented before Christmas, but no specific dates were announced.
Lam thanked the hotel industry for its “enthusiastic” response to be used for quarantine purposes, saying some 10,000 rooms at 30 to 40 hotels were ready to be used. She said hotel rooms in different price ranges would be available for inbound travellers to choose from and that the names of the designated hotels would be announced soon after officials carry out final checks on the venues.
Lam added that as the incubation period of some Covid-19 patients is longer than 14 days, travellers will be requested to get tested one more time – five days after they finish their quarantine.
Photo by Bowen Chin