Only fully vaccinated Hong Kong residents will be allowed to return from the Maldives, Senegal and Tunisia from Thursday onwards, as the city tightens travel rules over concerns about the Covid-19 Omicron mutant strain.

Meanwhile, the compulsory use of the government contact-tracing mobile application LeaveHomeSafe in 18 types of designated premises, including all restaurants, will begin on Thursday, with exemptions for three groups of people.

Photo: GovHK.

In total, Hong Kong will list 53 countries as “high-risk” areas, including Argentina, Croatia, Fiji and Latvia from Friday onwards, meaning that only fully vaccinated Hong Kong residents will be allowed to enter the city from those places.

List of “high-risk” regions – click to view.

  • Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Nepal, the Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States of America
  • From Friday: Argentina, Croatia, Fiji, Latvia

Residents returning from 12 specified countries, including South Africa and Nigeria, will have to undergo an additional seven days in a government quarantine facility before their 21-day quarantine period at a designated hotel.

List of 12 specified countries – click to view.

  • Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Updated social distancing rules

Most of the city’s Covid-19 social-distancing measures were also extended for another two weeks from Thursday.

As the use of LeaveHomeSafe is made compulsory in all restaurants, the opening hours of eateries with unvaccinated staff members will be extended on Thursday for one hour to 11 p.m..

File photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

People aged 65 or above or aged 15 or under, people with disabilities, and other people recognised by the government will be exempted from the use of the mobile app, but they are required to fill in a form when they enter designated premises.

List of designated premises requiring the use of LeaveHomeSafe – click to view.

  • Restaurants, bars, amusement game centres, bathhouses, gyms, “places of public amusement” such as skating rinks, “places of public entertainment” such as theme parks, party rooms, beauty parlours, clubhouses, nightclubs, karaoke establishments, mahjong houses, sports centres, swimming pools, hotels, cruise ships, and event premises.

Vaccination certificates recognition

From Wednesday, the government recognised vaccination certificates issued by Georgia, Moldova, Serbia and Togo.

Hong Kong reported no new Covid-19 infections on Wednesday. The city has recorded 12,472 cases and 213 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic over a year ago.

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Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.