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Quarantine arrangements for domestic helpers arriving to Hong Kong

Changes to requirements for domestic helpers arriving in HK starting 25 July:

Additional enhanced measures will affect travellers arriving from the Specified Places: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and South Africa, starting from 0.00am on July 25, 2020, and will remain effective until further notice. See Government press release: HERE. These additional measures include: 1) Pre-departure negative COVID-19 test result, and 2) 14-day quarantine at a hotel upon arrival in Hong Kong. We go through the new requirements below:

1. COVID-19 test required before boarding flight to Hong Kong.

  • Travellers from the Specified Places, including domestic helpers, will need to undergo a nucleic acid test for COVID-19 before their flight to Hong Kong
  • The test must be done within 72 hours before the scheduled time of departure, at a laboratory that is recognised by the home government
  • The test result must be negative for COVID-19

The documentation required for the test include the following, and will need to be presented before boarding the flight:

  1.  a letter or certificate in English or Chinese issued by a laboratory or healthcare institution bearing the name and identity card or passport number of the relevant traveller to show that:
    1. the relevant traveller underwent a nucleic acid test for COVID-19 the sample for which was taken from the relevant traveller within 72 hours before the scheduled time of departure of the specified aircraft;
    2. the test conducted on the sample is a nucleic acid test for COVID-19; and
    3. the result of the test is that the relevant traveller was tested negative for COVID-19;
  2.  the original of the report for the test issued by the laboratory or healthcare institution bearing the name and identity card or passport number of the relevant traveller;
  3. a letter in English or Chinese issued by the relevant authority of the government of the place in which the laboratory or healthcare institution is located certifying that the laboratory or healthcare institution is recognised or approved by the government
  4. a confirmation in Chinese or English of room reservation in a hotel in Hong Kong for not less than 14 days starting on the day of the arrival of the relevant traveller in Hong Kong

See more information on where COVID-19 testing can be done in the Philippines: HERE

2. Booking at a hotel in Hong Kong for a 14-day quarantine

Travellers arriving from the Specified Places, including domestic helpers, will need to quarantine at a hotel for 14-days upon arrival in Hong Kong.

  • The booking confirmation for the 14-day minimum stay in English or Chinese must be presented before boarding the flight.
  • For possible hotels taking bookings for quarantine, the HK Quarantine Support Group on Facebook is a helpful resource. See their posts on “Places to Stay”: HERE
  • The Labour Department has provided a list of licensed hotels, but not all hotels accept bookings for quarantine reasons: HERE

3. At the Hong Kong airport

  • Health Declaration Form: All inbound passengers are required to submit a health declaration form.
  • COVID-19 Testing at the airport: All travellers will be taken to AsiaWorld-Expo by shuttle bus from the Airport, and Saliva samples will be taken from all travellers at the Temporary Specimen Collection Centre there. **This will make time at the airport upon arrival many hours longer. Travellers may be asked to stay overnight and will be provided accommodation.
  • See official page on inbound travel via aiport: HERE

4. 14-day Quarantine in Hong Kong for travellers from the Specified Places

  • At the airport, travellers will be required to provide their hotel address and contact number. Travellers will then be given an electric wristband connected to a smartphone app. Travellers will need to be quarantined at the provided address for 14 days.
  • Travellers will need to be quarantined at the address they provided at the airport for 14 days
  • Towards the end of quarantine, the traveller is required to submit a deep throat saliva sample for testing. Employers should also discuss the submission arrangement with their worker. Further details are listed inside a information package provided to travellers upon their arrival. There are door-to-door pick-up services operated by Gogovan (here), Pick Upp (here) or Toby (here).

Advisory to Employers

  • The Labour Department has issued an advisory on the responsibilities for employers to: bear the cost of the test and the cost of food and accommodation while the domestic helper they hired are in the 14-day quarantine:
  • “Employers should bear the cost of the nucleic acid test for their FDHs. Employers applying to the Immigration Department (ImmD) to employ domestic helpers will be required to sign an undertaking to the Government, indicating that they will comply with the relevant specifications and bear the cost of the nucleic acid test when arranging for their FDHs to come to Hong Kong, in case their FDHs have stayed in a specified place on the day on which they boarded an aircraft that arrives at, or is about to arrive at Hong Kong, or during the 14 days before that day. Employers found to be in breach of the undertaking may be given an adverse record and ImmD may refuse their future applications for employment of FDHs. Employers are also reminded to comply with their obligations under the Standard Employment Contract, including bearing the accommodation expenses and providing food allowance to FDHs during the FDHs’ compulsory quarantine.” See the full advisory (issued July 18): HERE

How to Quarantine

During the quarantine period, you are advised to:

  • Observe good personal and environmental hygiene in accordance with the attached information package HERE
  • Fill in the attached checklist for recording body temperature and symptoms daily. HERE 
  • You may ask your co-living family members, friends and relatives to acquire food or necessities for you.
  • For friends and relatives not living together, they should deliver these items to your door but they should not be permitted to enter your home to reduce the risk of them being exposed to infection. For the same reason, you should avoid close contact with your friends and relatives.

See the Center for Health Protection (CHP)’s Notes for Compulsory Quarantine HERE

CHP’s Notes for Household Members: HERE

Resources

  • Centre for Health Protection Hotline: 2125 1122 (8 am to 12 midnight)
  • Home Affairs Department Hotline: 2835 1473 (24 hours)
  • HK Government website on Coronavirus: www.coronavirus.com.hk

If you begin to experience any symptoms of the COVID-19,  call the CHP Hotline.

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Fair Employment Agency is a nonprofit agency. We put a lot of work into producing high quality, accurate and updated information resources because when employers and domestic helpers are informed, they are empowered to make good choices. If you found this article helpful, please consider donating through Fair Employment Foundation (tax-deductable for amounts over HK$100). Click HERE for donation instructions.



Last updated on July 23rd, 2020
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