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Can domestic helpers from the Philippines and Indonesia travel to Hong Kong?

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On 26 August the bilateral agreements of the Hong Kong government and the governments of Indonesia and the Philippines on vaccination record recognition was announced. (gia.info.gov.hk, 26 Aug)

Starting 30 August, migrant domestic helpers who were fully vaccinated may enter from Indonesia and the Philippines, provided they fulfill the following requirements:

  • Fully vaccinated: Received all required doses and have been 14-days since final dose.
  • Validated vaccine records (See details below for separate requirements in the Philippines and Indonesia) 
  • 21-night, 22-day Overseas Worker Designated Quarantine Facility booking at the Tsuen Wan Silka Hotel OR at the Penny’s Bay Quarantine Centre (PBQC)
  • A negative PCR-Covid19 test done within 72-hrs of flight.
  • Other usual requirements: a valid Hong Kong employment entry visa; a valid medical certificate; a valid Philippine Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC).

*If the domestic helper was fully vaccinated in Hong Kong, then they need to quarantine at a Designated Quarantine Hotel instead: https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/designated-hotel.html 

Once the domestic helper has been fully vaccinated and “other usual requirements” have been fulfilled, the first step is to get fully vaccinated and vaccination records verified. If the domestic helper has not yet been fully vaccinated, see below.

Important notes:

There are thousands of domestic helpers waiting in the Philippines and Indonesia. Their arrival will still take time as a number of limitations due to Covid-19 remain.

  • Limited vaccine record validation appointment slots: In the past weeks, appointment slots at the Bureau of Quarantine for the ICV vaccine record validation were very limited. Some ICVs did not include passport details. The Philippines Government is further streamlining the process, and will begin to include the passport details on 20 August 2021.
  • Limited rooms at the Designated Quarantine Facility (DQF). As of 26 August, there is only one hotel with 409 rooms available for arriving domestic helpers. As of 13 September, there is only one hotel with 409 rooms available and one quarantine center with 800 rooms for arriving domestic helpers.
  • Additional of 200 units will be provided in quarantine centre starting from 22 October , making a total of 1 000 units for arriving domestic helpers.

Vaccine Record Verification

Hong Kong Government’s recognised vaccination records: See HERE

In the Philippines, domestic helpers need to go to the Bureau of Quarantine to get an International Certificate of Verification (ICV) or “Yellow Card”.

In Indonesia, domestic helpers need to go to the Pedulilindungi

After vaccination verification is secured, next arrange the Quarantine in Hong Kong, 

Arranging the Quarantine in Hong Kong

Currently, there are two designated Quarantine Facilities (DQF) for arriving domestic helpers

  • Option 1: Tsuen Wan Silka Hotel 

    • Bookings can be made directly to the hotel from 27th August at 
    • There are limited rooms available. The hotel will adjust the number of rooms open for reservation each day having regard to the overall booking situation. The hotel will confirm with the persons making the reservation individually and arrange for them to complete the relevant procedures upon receipt of their bookings. Please visit the hotel website for details (www.silkahotels.com/silka-tsuen-wan).
  • Option 2: Penny’s Bay Quarantine Centre (PBQC) [ Booking system was suspended since Sep 19 2021 but will reopen on October 4 2021]

    • Booking can be made through the booking system on the FDH Portal of the Labour Department (LD) 
      • HK$480 for one quarantine guest (per night)
    • PBQC will accept at most 50 FDHs every day. The booking system will allow reservations in the coming 30 days. Applicants will be contacted within 1-2 days after booking and will be asked to provide the required documents.
    • After providing required documents, a  demand note will be issued to the applicant. Applicant must settle the payment and produce a payment receipt to LD on or before the due date (normally within two to three days) as stated on the demand note or two calendar days before the helpers’ check-in date (whichever is earlier).  
        • Notice for residents of the PBQC
          • FDHs should bring their own mobile phone (with charger) with mobile data service function to enable communication with staff in this Facility during the quarantine period.
          • Three meals will be provided. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be delivered daily around 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. respectively. 
          • Wifi is not available. Basic facilities including bed, quilt, pillow, wardrobe, portable electric water boiler, air conditioner, and gas water heater will be provided in the room. FDHs will be provided with a 50GB local mobile data card, a basic necessities pack, a personal toiletries pack and a welcoming pack.
          • FDHs can make use of the transportation service provided by this Facility to the Mass Transit Railway station (Tung Chung Station or Tsing Yi Station). Employers and EAs may also pick up their FDHs at PBQC.
  • Documents required for booking at the DQF include: 
    • Domestic helper’s passport copy, 
    • valid employment visa and 
    • recognized vaccination record 
  • Domestic helpers will also need to provide the above documents for verification when they check into the facility
  • The Government reminds employers and EAs that they should not book tickets for their FDHs until they have successfully reserved rooms in a DQF. This is to avoid FDHs not being able to check into a DQF after arriving in Hong Kong. If employers or EAs booked rooms in other designated quarantine hotels (DQHs) by mistake, the relevant FDH will not be allowed to board for Hong Kong, and employers or EAs might lose money as the hotel might not be able to provide a refund.

Once the Quarantine Arrangements have been made, book the flight & arrange for the negative PCR Covid-19 Test

See more information on the 21 days of quarantine below.

Flights

  • All passengers on Cebu Pacific flights to Hong Kong are required to take a free Antigen Test on the day of their flights starting from 17 September. (Click here for the latest advisory)
  • All passengers on Philippines Airlines flights to Hong Kong are required to present a negative Antigent Test within 5 hours before the flight starting from 1 October until 15 October. The Antigen Test will be free of charge in PAL Gate 3 testing facility. (Click here for more information)

PCR Covid-19 Test

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based nucleic acid test for COVID-19 should be conducted within 72 hours before the scheduled time of departure of the aircraft. The Negative result proof of PCR-based nucleic acid test report for COVID-19 should: 

  • Be in English or Chinese, and issued by a laboratory or healthcare institution bearing the name of the relevant traveller matching that in his or her valid travel document
  • Show the time and date when the sample was taken, which should be within 72 hours before the scheduled time of departure of flight to HK. 
  • That the test conducted on the sample is a polymerase chain reaction-based nucleic acid test for COVID-19;
  • That the traveller was tested negative for COVID-19;
  • If the relevant report is not in English or Chinese or does not contain all of the above information, a written confirmation in English or Chinese issued by the laboratory or healthcare institution bearing the name of the relevant traveller matching that in his or her valid travel document and setting out all of the above information.The said written confirmation should be presented together with the test report; and Documentary proof in English or Chinese to show that the laboratory or healthcare institution is ISO 15189 accredited or is recognised or approved by the relevant authority of the government of the place in which the laboratory or healthcare institution is located

What if the domestic helper was vaccinated in a different country – not Hong Kong, Indonesia, or the Philippines?

The only vaccination records that Hong Kong recognises are those from:

  • Hong Kong, 
  • Mainland China,
  • Macao, 
  • an institution recognised by Mainland or Macao authorities, 
  • a country with bilateral vaccination record recognition agreement with Hong Kong. Now including the Philippines and Indonesia, or
  • a country where its national regulatory authority is designated by the World Health Organization as a stringent regulatory authority which are: 
    • Australia
    • Austria
    • Belgium
    • Bulgaria
    • Canada
    • Croatia
    • Cyprus
    • Czech Republic
    • Denmark
    • Estonia
    • Finland
    • France
    • Germany
    • Greece
    • Hungary
    • Iceland
    • Ireland
    • Italy
    • Japan
    • Latvia
    • Liechtenstein
    • Lithuania
    • Luxembourg
    • Malta
    • Netherlands
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • Romania
    • Slovakia
    • Slovenia
    • Spain
    • Sweden
    • Switzerland
    • United Kingdom
    • United States of America
    • Norway

Not yet vaccinated?

All travellers from the Philippines and Indonesia and other Group A Countries are required to be fully vaccinated and hold recognized vaccination records.

For domestic helpers in the Philippines, read: Can domestic helpers get vaccines in the Philippines before coming to Hong Kong? What is the COVID-19 situation there?

What are the requirements at the Airport and during the Quarantine Period?

Will fully vaccinated domestic helpers from the Philippines and Indonesia be able to have reduced hotel quarantines?

No. Fully vaccinated arrivals from extremely high-risk countries would still be subject to 21 days of quarantine in a designated hotel, four tests during isolation, another week of self-monitoring, and testing on the 26th day upon arrival.

Read more: COVID-19 Quarantine arrangements for domestic helpers arriving to Hong Kong from the Philippines and Indonesia

How about transiting to a lower-risk country to work around the flight suspension?

This is extremely risky for domestic helpers and should not be attempted. Read more: Can domestic helpers fly to different countries to work around travel and entry restrictions to Hong Kong?

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Last updated on October 4th, 2021
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