Hong Kong has announced plans to further ease its arrivals quarantine requirements.

From Friday overseas visitors will be subject to three days of compulsory hotel quarantine, down from the current seven.

However they will also have to undergo a further four days of “medical surveillance”, during which they must test daily.

Provided they test negative each day, they will be free to take public transport, go to work and visit shopping centres, but will be restricted from visiting venues where the checking of vaccine passes is required, including bars and gyms.

Having had some of the strictest travel restrictions in place throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Hong Kong took the first steps to reopening its borders to international visitors in May this year, with fully-vaccinated travellers able to enter the Chinese Special Administrative Region, subject to the same boarding, quarantine and testing arrangements as Hong Kong residents.

Hong Kong to open borders to non-residents from May 1

Hong Kong’s flag carrier Cathay Pacific has been badly hit by the restrictions, with passengers numbers still down 98 per cent on pre-pandemic levels as recently as May this year.

The airline released the following statement in response to the latest changes:

“Cathay Pacific welcomes the Hong Kong SAR Government’s announcement today regarding adjustments to the hotel quarantine arrangement for inbound arrivals entering Hong Kong, effective from August 12. These adjustments are positive steps to help facilitate travel into Hong Kong for passengers.

“We are asking the Government to urgently provide a clear roadmap showing the complete removal of all Covid-related restrictions for aircrew and passengers as soon as is feasible to protect Hong Kong’s international aviation hub status.”

info.gov.hk, cathaypacific.com

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