Hong Kong eases COVID travel restrictions for tour groups | Tech US News


Hong Kong has maintained some of the strictest COVID restrictions for much of the pandemic. However, the city is now looking for ways to safely reopen its borders to tourists.

In a welcome move, international visitors with an amber code on their vaccination pass can visit places in Hong Kong that allow activities with masks from today, November 17. In addition, travelers in tour groups can enter restaurants and other places during the first three days of their visit.

Travelers in tour groups will be exempt from “Code Amber” restrictions.

Hong Kong has removed many of its strict COVID-19 policies in recent months, including the mandatory 3-day quarantine in hotels. And while the city has eased some of the pre-departure rules, vaccinated travelers must undergo a rapid antigen test 24 hours before departure. In addition, travelers must undergo a PCR test on the 2nd, 4th and 6th respectively, according to the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

Instead of hotel quarantine, travelers must continue to self-monitor symptoms for three days. Currently, all incoming tourists who hold the Amber Code on their vaccination pass are prohibited from entering restaurants, bars, gyms and beauty salons. With the latest developments, travelers in tour groups will be exempt from this ban. Those who are not in a group must follow the rules in force.

hong kong covid restrictions tour groups
Under reduced COVID travel restrictions in Hong Kong, tour groups operated by authorized tourist guides will be able to visit the tourist attractions from November 17. (Image: Sarah Richer/Unsplash)

Travel agents must pre-register travel itineraries

Under the new arrangements, those traveling to Hong Kong in tour groups operated by licensed tour guides will be able to visit tourist attractions. Parks and museums will also open their doors to group tourists. However, travel agents must pre-register travel itineraries with the Hong Kong Travel Industry Council. Authorities are also looking to relax the number of COVID-19 tests for group travelers. The announcement came after financial executives attending a high-profile economic summit in Hong Kong expressed disappointment at the restrictions.

With the economy slumping, the government finally opened the city’s gates in September. But the push to revive Hong Kong, while welcome and long overdue, faces many challenges. Although the “0+3” requirement is not enough to boost tourism, the relaxation of tour groups would help Hong Kong return to normal. With the right arrangements, the inbound travel market can resume orderly.

(Main and featured images: Nic Low/Unsplash)

This story first appeared in Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur


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