If you are arriving in Hong Kong from the UAE, you will need to present a negative COVID-19 test result at the airport in Hong Kong. Photo used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: Hong Kong is giving away 500,000 flight tickets through its ‘Hello Hong Kong’ campaign, and if you are in the UAE, you might be wondering how you can benefit from this initiative, which is scheduled to start from May 2023. In an effort to, as Paul Chan, the financial secretary of Hong Kong, stated in an official press release, “bounce back” to its normality post COVID-19, Hong Kong is “going all out” to promote itself. But what are the travel rules that are still in place, if you do visit Hong Kong? Carry on reading to find out the details.

How to participate in the ‘Hello Hong Kong’ flight tickets giveaway?
The giveaway for UAE-based travellers is expected to start in May this year, with the exact date yet to be announced. Participants can visit the dedicated web page for this giveaway - https://wow.hongkongairport.com/tickets - to register their information following the page’s guideline. The tickets will be selected through a lucky draw and the winners will get free tickets issued by partner airlines in Hong Kong. The four partner airlines listed on the page are: Cathay Pacific, HK Express, Hong Kong Airlines and Greater Bay Airlines. Terms and conditions of the ticket will depend on the airline that will issue your ticket.

According to the Hong Kong special administrative region government’s official COVID-19 portal - www.coronavirus.gov.hk - these are the steps you need to follow when you travel to Hong Kong:

1. Conduct pre-departure COVID-19 test

If you are arriving in Hong Kong from the UAE, you will need to present a negative COVID-19 test result at the airport in Hong Kong. Travellers aged three years or younger are exempted from this requirement. The test needs to be done within 24 hours of departure, if it is a rapid antigen test, or within 48 hours of departure, if it is a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test.

However, if you are arriving from mainland China and Macau, no pre-departure COVID-19 test is needed.

Vaccine certificate and quarantine requirements

COVID-19 vaccination certificate and quarantine for international inbound travellers to Hong Kong is no longer required.

2. Go through temperature check upon arrival

You will need to go through a temperature check at the airport, upon arrival. If you are found with symptoms such as a fever and a cough, you will be referred to the Department of Health in Hong Kong for further examination. If you test positive for COVID-19, these are the suggested precautions that have been issued by the Department of Health and the Centre for Health Protection in Hong Kong:

• Wear a well-fitting surgical mask, a KF94 mask, a KN95 mask or a respirator (such as a N95 mask) during the first five days after being tested positive.
• Avoid contact with others in mask-off situations.
• Avoid contact with vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly.
• Avoid crowds.
• Keep the windows open in the place where you live, where possible.
• Clean and disinfect the place where you live daily.
• Those with symptoms should rest at home and avoid going out.
• Vulnerable individuals with symptoms should seek medical advice to avoid deterioration of health conditions.

However, if you wish to self-quarantine, you can do so voluntarily.

3. Report your COVID-19 test result voluntarily

All travellers are also advised to conduct a rapid antigen test (RAT) on the day they arrive in Hong Kong and for the next five days after the day of arrival. However, this is voluntary, and the passenger has to pay for the cost of the test kits. You can then also report the test result through the ‘Electronic COVID-19 Monitoring and Surveillance System’, here - https://nhqsdata.hqss.ogcio.gov.hk/ibt/#/login. During these days, if you test positive for COVID-19, you will need to follow the precautions listed above.