Latest quarantine and testing arrangements for foreign domestic helpers
The Government announced yesterday (January 27) that starting from February 5, the compulsory quarantine period for inbound travellers from overseas places will be adjusted to 14days in designated quarantine hotels (DQHs)/designated quarantine facilities (DQFs), to be followed by a seven-day self-monitoring period. For persons who arrived at Hong Kong before February 5 and are required to undergo the 15th to 21st days of quarantine in DQHs/DQFs on or after February 5 as per the original quarantine orders (i.e. inbound travellers from overseas who arrive at Hong Kong between January 16 and February 4), the Department of Health will arrange for them to undergo relevant testing by batches in an orderly manner before the completion of quarantine. If they obtain a negative test result and have completed at least 14 days of quarantine, they will be arranged to leave the DQHs/DQFs in turn.
Reference can be made to the relevant press release on the above quarantine and testing details at this link.
A Labour Department (LD) spokesman said, "In accordance with the above arrangement, foreign domestic helpers (FDHs), upon completion of the 14-day compulsory quarantine at DQHs/DQFs (see Note) should undergo self-monitoring at the employer's residence and be subject to compulsory testing. We understand that some employers may wish to arrange FDHs to complete self-monitoring at licensed hotels or guesthouses due to considerations of the family situation or household environment, etc. As such, for FDHs who have completed the 14-day compulsory quarantine, apart from moving to the employer's residence to undergo self-monitoring and compulsory testing, the Government will also allow FDHs to undergo self-monitoring at licensed hotels or guesthouses. However, these licensed hotels or guesthouses must not be serving DQHs/DQFs, so as to prevent cross-infection with people who are still undergoing the 14-day compulsory quarantine."
According to Clause 3 of the Standard Employment Contract (SEC), FDHs working in Hong Kong must work and reside in the employer's residence specified in the SEC during their employment period. In view of the above considerations, the Commissioner for Labour has, in accordance with Clause 15 of the SEC, given in-principle consent for FDHs who have completed a 14-day compulsory quarantine to stay at licensed hotels or guesthouses which are not DQHs/DQFs to complete the subsequent self-monitoring. It is not necessary to make an application to the LD. The relevant arrangement should be mutually agreed by the employer and the FDH. FDHs are not allowed to undergo self-monitoring at places which are not the employer's residence apart from licensed hotels or guesthouses. Lists of DQFs/DQHs can be found respectively at the LD's FDH Portal (www.fdh.labour.gov.hk) and the thematic website of the Government's DQH Scheme (www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/designated-hotel.html). The list of licensed hotels and guesthouses can be referred to at this link.
Upon departure from the DQHs/DQFs, FDHs should undergo compulsory testing on the 16th and 19th days of arrival at Hong Kong in accordance with the compulsory testing notice.
Should FDHs and their employers have any enquiries on employment matters, they may contact the LD through its 24-hour hotline at 27171771 (manned by 1823), by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or through the online form on the dedicated portal (www.fdh.labour.gov.hk).
Note: For FDHs who are arriving Hong Kong from Group A specified places and have been fully vaccinated in Hong Kong, the Mainland, Macao or places of stringent regulatory authorities designated by the World Health Organization, they may undergo compulsory quarantine at a general DQH. For the full list of applicable regions, please visit: www.coronavirus.gov.hk/pdf/places_of_issuance_recognised_vaccination_records.pdf.
Ends/Friday, January 28, 2022