Travellers from Hong Kong to the UK will no longer need to quarantine from next Monday onwards, after British authorities announced they were moving the city to a “green list.”
But they will have to test negative for the coronavirus within three days of boarding their flights and to make arrangements for another test within two days of arrival.
The new rule will come into force at 0400 GMT next Monday. People who arrive before then will still have to quarantine for 10 days at the place they are staying.
Even after Monday people arriving from green list countries will be required to quarantine if they are found to have travelled with someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Other countries also to be upgraded next week to the “green list” are Taiwan and Croatia.
There has been an uptick in the number of Hongkongers leaving for the UK for good in recent weeks, taking advantage of a new and more generous visa scheme for those eligible for British National (Overseas) passports.
Flights from the UK to Hong Kong have been suspended since July 1 in a bid to curb the spread of the more infectious Delta variant.
Separately, the Department of Health banned Lufthansa flights from Frankfurt for two weeks after two passengers were found to have violated unspecified provisions of the city’s Covid-19 regulations.
“Given that the situation of Covid-19 infection remains severe and that there is a continuous increase in the number of cases including mutant strains reported around the world, members of the public are strongly urged to avoid all non-essential travel outside Hong Kong,” a statement said.
Hong Kong’s local infections remain under control, with no new cases reported on Thursday. The city has reported a total of 32 cases in the past two weeks, only one of which was a local infection with an unknown source.