Visitor quarantine to end imminently in Hong KongBack to Forum
Addition to my earlier post.
From my notes I missed one heading. My apologies if I inadvertently mislead anyone
This should be now 5A.
A PCR test is required on days 2,4 and 6 these can be carried out at the many dedicated centers around the city and mobile collection centers of which there are many and are being increased in number. They are open until I believe 8 p.m. and 7 days and with HK being so compact it is not a lot of bother.
These tests are required by both residents and visitors.
I have taken them many times and they routinely take 5-10 minutes.24 Sep 2022
I remember my first overseas trip when Europe started to lift travel restrictions in Q2, 2021. I went to Malta for 3 days. I recall at least 5 PCR tests at a cost of ca £600. Quite honestly, I was so pleased at being able to travel again, I would gladly have taken 10 tests. But that was 16 months or so ago, and the whilst the rest of the world has since opened up, HKG is only going through this process now. So I understand comments from our HKG based members that these tests are routine, simple and easy. Most HKG’ers appear delighted to be able to travel. But I am with the side that says visitors will not put up with multiple testing and the cost thereof + restrictions for the first 3 days + the HKG authorities being able to track your movements, ‘Chinese style’.
My biggest fear though would be getting a positive test, (false or correct), just as I was about to leave the hotel for the airport after my typical 2 night stay and not being allowed to leave.
I also don’t believe, travelling Rugby 7s fans will take kindly to not being to enjoy the HKG night life for the first 3 days of their trip, unless of course this will change in the next few weeks.
So for now, thank you HKG for persuading me NOT to visit in December, saving my company the cost of flights and hotels and the embarrassment of not being able to entertain clients other than going to an offy and picking up a take away and sitting in a park, during my typical 2 day visit, unless of course the hotel will allow me to have a table in the foyer to eat my takeaway with clients.
On the flip side though, thank you HKG for now allowing your residents to freely leave and more importantly freely return to HKG and not only saving me the cost and time of travelling to your once amazing city… but also for enabling me to gain revenue for arranging the Private Jet travel my clients have chosen to use from HKG to BKK to HKG, where I will be able to hold meetings in a far more professional and sociable manner.
Yes, Asia is finally opening up, but I am not convinced HKG will benefit from a mass influx of tourists or business travellers, apart of course from the heavy weight bankers who appear to manage things differently, in the short term.
China needs to join HKG by reopening and start to bring the world together again, to help the economy recover …24 Sep 2022
It’s interesting to read hotel owners busy bidding to be quarantine hotels up to Feb. This makes me suspicious that many negative PCRs will mysteriously turn positive 2 days later. As happened to me in Singapore. Gov there needed to fill all those resorts by Changi with foreigners on good travel insurance. It’s such a whizz, keeps hotels full, since the city lacks visitors at present. Getting rid of the pre travel PCR is sneaky, as people found out in Thailand. Hotels packed with sudden PCR positives found on arrival there.. Lured people into a false sense of security. Unbelievable. Poor old Bali failed to be smart enough to cash in on that whizz.
So, as you say Martyn, that fear still lurks in the back of our minds also.
We are still waiting for transit updates from HKIA, still no idea how or who we will be flown home by late November, coming from KUL on CX.
But l feel that restrictions will be lifted for those financiers and rugby fans to visit. Those visitors won’t stand for such 0-3, or 0-7 nonsense. But maybe the locals don’t want that invasion of tourists yet.24 Sep 2022
Quarantine hotels are mostly returning to normal operations and so the previous bidding is irrelevant now. Of course there is the risk of governments Penny Bay prison but as far as I am aware it is not being used too much now (of course it could change).
This is more a benefit for locals to travel as few overseas people will tolerate – obviously by no surprise Cathay has inflated its already excessive prices by more than anyone.
@ cwoodward – you seem to be mostly copying scmp but a close friend in the industry already told me re day 2,4 and 6 test which you did not seem to know until later (SCMP announced later after my close source).
Of course all rules (except masks) could disappear by November but it seems unlikely – HK announcement was bad timing as it was on the day that Singapore was announced as overtaking HK as Asia’s global finance centre.24 Sep 2022
christ. I do not take or follow the SCMP these days but I did though take the trouble to read the CEs speech on the subject.
Probably masks alone will not keep many rugby fans away from HK as many will ignore the requirement but no pubs for 3 nights may and I suspect that some sort of arrangement may be put in place – I have no idea what.
Cathay being a private enterprise with responsibilities to its shareholders needs desperately to continue to recover from the very serious damage that the government lockdown caused and are fully entitled to raise fares in a free and cut throat market, yet you find fault with this. Why please ?
Like it or not christ this airline is vitally important to Hong Kong’s general recovery and to HK recovering its place as the leading Asian hub thus I don’t exactly understand why as a professed lover of HK this appears to be a problem for you but then I understand very little of what you post or to be frank your motivation for doing so.
1 user thanked author for this post.25 Sep 2022
I agree with virtually all of your comments. I just think cathay should remain competitive as most hk locals I know for example would rather go Thai or emirates to bangkok. Though hopefully when airlines return, it will be more competitive.
Having said that BA prices in December are only about hkd 10k cheaper than cathay in business..
Will be interesting to see what happens to the flooded hotel market with no quarantine and with the current rules.26 Sep 2022
I would suggest that Cathays ‘feel’ for the market conditions has proved to be spot on with profits being recorded in each of the past 3 months despite running less than 25% of their normal schedule.
Clearly they do not need to offer the cheapest pricing in order to attract customers or become a LCC.
I have noticed that in the past days many more of Cathays HK Express aircraft coming back to service from long term storage with also a new aircraft delivered 2 weeks ago and This airline flies mostly ‘leisure’ routes and with Japan opening up will shortly be offering increased flights to Japan.
Already it is becoming difficult to book book flights in December and January to the Cathay groups destinations and so although cost is always clearly a factor it is not one looks to be adversely affecting Cathays ‘bums on seats’ situation at this time.27 Sep 2022
I’m planning to visit Hong Kong next week for one night only. I’ll be travelling from Manila. Could anyone who knows please confirm that all I will need is the following:
– Antigen test within 24 hours of departure to Hong Kong. This can be self-administered, correct?
– PCR test administered on arrival at the airport in HKG
If I’m leaving again the following day do I need to take any more tests on the day of departure or can I just head to the airport and board my flight out?
I know I won’t be able to enter restaurants or bars, but is there anything else I need to be aware of?28 Sep 2022
Interestingly I have noticed Qatar flight cost to UK / Europe dropped massively from HK in November (not sure why with World Cup – perhaps more airlines are returning). Cathay business prices remains notoriously high but its good to see that prices for travel to Europe (and even US) on non – local carriers is dropping.
I have from a close source that BA will be increasing their capacity to HK to 2 flights sooner rather than later (i.e. in the winter timetable) and so this will be helpful to put some pressure on Cathay on this route as i would much rather direct flights than Qatar or Finnair. Finnair prices though seem to have gone far higher. I am curious as to how BA will find additional capacity.
I wonder if Virgin will accelerate their return to HK prior to summer 2023 timetable – though they seem more focussed on US and so not sure if they have much loyalty in Asia.
Also announced quite widely though that the hotel prospects are quite dismal for HK with staycations disappearing and minimal incoming overseas people unless rules further relax and may well do in October (although masks are expected to remain for a little longer)28 Sep 2022
christ, With Cathay being able to fill an average of near 70% across all flights and flights to US, UK and Canada almost always full both ways I don’t see Cathay needing to reduce their pricing at this point.
There is no secret re BA flight schedules to HK it has been all over the internet for several days.
More interesting perhaps is that Qatar have felt the need to reduce their prices to the UK. This is almost certainly indicates a lack of ‘bums on seat’ bookings going forward as of course they cannot offer direct non stop flights and 18 hours to London with a stop enroute against Cathays (and soon BAs) 11 hour non stops just doesn’t cut it for most.
The sandpit airlines had a ball during the pandemic when other airlines were grounded or operating on much reduced schedules but all of them it seems have found it much tougher in the past couple of months and are needing to in many cases drastically reduce fares or operate at a loss to major destinations.
Good to see that Cathay Points Redemptions are again available and I managed to secure 3 seats to Manila in early October and 2 to Bangkok in November also 3 to UK in April next year using part points.
Other good news (at least for our family) is that Bangkok Airways will recommence direct flights from HK to Samui. Tentatively from mid November -no sheduals available yet but they say soon.
1 user thanked author for this post.29 Sep 2022
I’m pretty sure this is the wrong forum but I couldn’t find one that seemed to fit, we returned end July and did our seven days Q in a hotel which on reflection was not so bad though how travellers ever survived that twenty one day regime I will never understand. Those of you who have experienced the previous Covid restrictions at the airport will know that the circumstances could only be described as unique, passengers were herded like sheep (in the nicest way) along temporary corridors for what seemed miles, tests were taken results were awaited details were demanded and given and one was finally released into the arrival hall.
Here we were greeted by our luggage stacked next to the carousel and not a human being in sight, through customs and on to the transportation section we opted for a taxi over a bus and had a very good trip into town paying only what was on the meter. On arrival at our hotel we noticed one of our Rimowa suitcases was badly damaged, a broken wheel and a split in the polycarbonate body of the case. I submitted a report to Qatar on their website which was rejected quoting their T&C’s that as I had collected the baggage and exited the airport I was deemed to have accepted the baggage in good condition. I can understand their position but surely some sort of force majeure should/could apply in these extreme conditions, extreme in the sense that the only human being we saw in our entire arrival procedure were employees of the governments medical teams, nowhere was there any of the normal airport services other than customs available.
Any thoughts appreciated or similar experiences.29 Sep 2022
Who pays for all these tests?
I arrived in Hong Kong yesterday evening.
The antigen test before your flight can be self-administered, so the cost is minimal. Nobody asks to see the result. You just acknowledge on the Health & Quarantine Information Declaration that you understand you need to take the test.
After you land in Hong Kong you’re given a PCR test, which is free of charge. After the test you’re supposed to download a QR code which serves as a temporary vaccine pass. You can add this code to the LeaveHomeSafe app which you can download from the iPhone App Store or Google Play. It’s all very well organised an didn’t take more than a few minutes to complete everything. After that you’re free to proceed through immigration and leave the airport.
You’re supposed to take an antigen test before you leave your place of residence the next morning. Again, this can be self-administered. I’m only staying in Hong Kong for one night so don’t know about the PCR test on Day 2. There are community health centers in Hong Kong and you might be able to get another free test done there.5 Oct 2022