- Travellers from the US to Hong Kong must now quarantine for seven days at a government facility before isolating in a hotel.
- They must first be isolated at a government quarantine centre for a week before moving to a hotel.
- The new rules kicked in after one passenger tested positive for the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
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Hong Kong has mandated that travellers from the US stay in a government quarantine camp for seven days after one inbound passenger from Los Angeles tested positive for the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
After the first week at the Penny's Bay Quarantine Centre, travellers from the US must isolate for another 14 days a designated quarantine hotel.
The new policy kicked in on Monday due to the infected traveller who flew in last Tuesday, prompting the Hong Kong government to "implement the most stringent quarantine and testing requirements for inbound travelers from the USA," it said in an announcement on Friday.
Per its latest Covid updates, the US has been designated a "high-risk location." Travellers coming directly from the US will only be allowed to enter the city-state if they are fully vaccinated Hong Kong residents. Non-resident US citizens wishing to enter Hong Kong must spend the previous 14 days in a lower-risk country and then complete a 14-day quarantine in a designated quarantine hotel upon arrival.
The US is the only country outside of Africa where inbound travellers require quarantine in a government facility but the UK is set to be added to the list after two people who transited to Hong Kong from the UK tested positive for the Omicron variant, the South China Morning Post reported.
The Hong Kong media outlet featured the utilitarian and spartan quarantine camp near Hong Kong Disneyland in a video earlier this year.
The increasingly stringent measures in Hong Kong come as China continues to pursue a Covid-zero strategy.
For those working in aviation, this could mean an endless cycle of quarantines.
The city's strict Covid-19 policy could also deter global talent from staying in and moving to Hong Kong. Relocation service providers told Reuters there were more people moving out of Hong Kong than in.
One relocation company's managing director told the outlet he saw demand for outgoing shipments increase five-fold during the pandemic, while also noting there was a 14-fold decrease in incoming shipments.