Quarantine arrangements for domestic helpers arriving to Hong Kong
Suspension of Flights from the Philippines
The Hong Kong Government has specified the Philippines as a high-risk country. Specific conditions are imposed on travellers arriving from these countries. Read more here: https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/high-risk-places.html
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
- Where can I get tested for COVID-19 in the Philippines?
The documentation required for the test include the following, and will need to be presented before boarding the flight:
- 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:
- 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;
- the test conducted on the sample is a nucleic acid test for COVID-19; and
- the result of the test is that the relevant traveller was tested negative for COVID-19;
- 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;
- 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
- a confirmation in Chinese or English of room reservation in a hotel in Hong Kong for not less than 21 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 21-day quarantine
Starting from December 25, Travellers arriving from any country except China will need to quarantine at a Designated Hotel for 21-days upon arrival in Hong Kong.
- The booking confirmation for the 21-day minimum stay in English or Chinese must be presented before boarding the flight.
- The list of Designated Hotels
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.
- Holding Centre for Test ResultFor passengers whose test results will not be available on the same day (usually passengers arriving in afternoons or at nights), they can proceed with immigration procedures right after collecting their deep throat saliva samples at the TSCC. They will subsequently be taken to the Holding Centre for Test Result of the Department of Health in hotel by coaches arranged by the Department of Health to wait for their test results. According to quarantine orders, they shall not leave their hotel rooms nor move around in the hotel. The hotel will provide basic catering services during the accommodation period. In general, the relevant passengers will only stay in the hotel for one night. If the test results are negative, they will be released from the holding centre and go to a designated place immediately to continue completion of the 21-day compulsory quarantine.
- See the official page on inbound travel via airport: HERE
- Transport to Designated Hotels:
4. 21-day Quarantine at Hotels
- 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 21 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 an 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).
5. 19th Day Testing
- On the 19th or 20th day, your worker will need to undergo the testing again following the arrival at Hong Kong in accordance with instructions.
6. Post-Quarantine 7-Day Monitoring and 26th Day Testing
Additional requirements announced 20 April by the Hong Kong Government for arrivals from the Philippines, India, and Pakistan:
- Arrivals from the Philippines are now required to undergo self-monitoring for 7 days
- Self-monitoring involves take body temperature twice a day; wearing a mask, keeping good hand hygiene. They are allowed to go out and work as usual. The wristband from quarantine can be removed once completed of hotel quarantine. They don’t need to keep it during the self-monitoring period
- On the 26th day, they will need to do another COVID test. It is suggested to do the test in the community centre. The CHP said they will trace back passengers who arrived on 26 March onwards. Since this is compulsory, they are exempted to pay the test fee of HK$240. They are suggested to bring along their documents, including HKID, and any other documents to show their quarantine status
Can domestic helpers quarantine in Hotels beyond the 21-days or voluntarily before joining a new family?
We called the Labour Department to inquire about this. We received the response that domestic helpers who processed overseas cannot extend their stay beyond the 21-day hotel quarantine. Nor can domestic helpers who processed locally do a voluntary hotel quarantine after their new visa has been picked up. This is because these two scenarios would violate the live-in requirement for domestic helpers.
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 21-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. See the full advisory (issued July 18): HERE
- “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 Dec 11): HERE
- 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.
Domestic helpers may be interested in taking some online courses while they are in quarantine. Here are some organisations running online courses:
Enrich Hong Kong
Enrich is a local NGO providing financial education workshops to domestic helpers in Bahasa Indonesia and Tagalog
Fair Training Center
Fair Training Center is a nonprofit training centre in Manila providing group workshops and individual coaching for domestic helpers. Their workshop focuses on soft-skills to help domestic helpers professionalise and adapt to life abroad.
Uplifters is an NGO providing online workshops to domestic helpers. Their current offerings include programmes on money management and baby care.
You may also like:
- COVID-19 updates affecting domestic helpers & employers
- What does domestic helper hiring look like now with the impact of COVID-19?
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Last updated on May 5th, 2021