Latest quarantine arrangements for foreign domestic helpers
The Labour Department (LD) today (August 10) reminded foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) and employers that the Government will adjust the boarding, quarantine and testing arrangements for overseas inbound persons with effect from August 12 (Friday).
An LD spokesman said, "FDHs who are coming to work in Hong Kong from August 12 onwards will be subject to quarantine under the '3+4' model, i.e. they will be subject to compulsory quarantine in designated quarantine hotels (DQHs) for three days, followed by medical surveillance at home for four days. They are required to take multiple tests during the medical surveillance period and the subsequent three-day monitoring period. FDHs will be subject to Amber Code restrictions under the Vaccine Pass during the medical surveillance period, and are not allowed to enter high-risk premises involving mask-off or group activities, as well as other premises requiring key protection (Note)."
The details of the quarantine and testing arrangements under the "3+4" model are as follows:
- Three days of compulsory quarantine: The day of arrival at Hong Kong with the first nucleic acid test conducted is considered as Day 0. FDHs are required to undergo compulsory quarantine for three nights in DQHs. They are subject to daily rapid antigen tests (RATs) and are required to undergo a nucleic acid test on Day 2. Those who test negative consecutively will have completed the compulsory quarantine in the morning of Day 3.
- Four days of medical surveillance: FDHs are then subject to medical surveillance at their employers' residence for four nights. They are subject to daily RATs. After obtaining negative results of RATs on Day 4 and Day 6 upon arrival at Hong Kong, they are required to undergo nucleic acid tests on the same days at a community testing centre, a mobile specimen collection station, or arrange a self-paid test at a local medical institution recognised by the Government. During the medical surveillance period, FDHs can work at their employers' residence and can go out after obtaining a negative result of an RAT on that day, but they will be subject to Amber Code restrictions under the Vaccine Pass and cannot enter high-risk premises involving mask-off or group activities, as well as other premises requiring key protection. FDHs can conduct daily essential activities of lower risk, e.g. taking transport, entering supermarkets and markets, etc. Those who test negative consecutively will have completed the medical surveillance in the morning of Day 7 upon arrival at Hong Kong.
- Continuous monitoring and testing: Upon completion of the medical surveillance, FDHs are subject to self-monitoring during the subsequent three days and undergo daily RATs until Day 10. They are also required to take the last nucleic acid test on Day 9.
In view of the conditions of individual families, the Commissioner for Labour has given in-principle approval for employers to arrange FDHs to stay at licensed hotels or guesthouses that are not DQHs to complete the four-day medical surveillance and subsequent three-day self-monitoring. It is not necessary to make an application to the LD.
As for FDHs who have completed at least three nights of quarantine in DQHs before August 12 (i.e. those who arrived at Hong Kong between August 3 and 8), the Government has arranged for them to leave the hotels in an orderly manner starting from August 9 to 12 after confirming their negative nucleic acid test results. After leaving DQHs, FDHs are subject to medical surveillance at home, Amber Code restrictions under the Vaccine Pass, as well as compliance with the above requirements on the conduct of daily RATs and nucleic acid tests.
Streamlining procedures of boarding for Hong Kong and arrival quarantine and testing
Starting 0.00am on August 12 (Hong Kong time), all FDHs boarding flights to Hong Kong are required to meet the boarding requirements by completing the online Health & Quarantine Information Declaration of the Department of Health (www.chp.gov.hk/hdf/) in advance, declare a record of completion of vaccination and provide information on booking at DQHs. Upon successful confirmation of the DQH booking information by the system, FDHs will receive a green health declaration QR code. Persons holding a green health declaration QR code will not be required to further verify vaccination records and confirmation of DQH booking during check-in for their flights. Upon arrival at Hong Kong, they can also use the "express channels" with the green health declaration QR code and board the point-to-point transportation to DQHs.
As for inbound persons whose vaccination declaration meets the boarding requirements, but the system is unable to confirm their DQH booking information, they will be issued a pink health declaration QR code. They will be required to present DQH booking documentation during check-in for their flights.
Persons boarding flights must present the health declaration QR code (which can be a downloadable version of the QR code, a screen shot or a printout) for verification by airlines before being allowed to board the flight.
In addition to the above requirements, inbound persons will continue to be required to provide proof of pre-departure tests (only applicable to inbound persons aged 3 or above), i.e. (i) negative result proof of a PCR-based nucleic acid test within 48 hours of the scheduled time of departure; or (ii) documentary proof to show that they were infected with the virus 14 to 90 days prior to boarding for Hong Kong, together with a negative result proof of an RAT conducted within 24 hours of the scheduled time of departure.
For details, please refer to the press release issued by the Government on August 8 (www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202208/08/P2022080800803.htm).
Employers or employment agencies (EAs) may visit the link below (www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/designated-hotel.html) for details of DQHs. If employers or EAs wish to arrange FDHs to undergo medical surveillance and self-monitoring in licensed hotels or guesthouses, please press here for the list of licensed hotels and guesthouses. The dedicated FDH portal (www.fdh.labour.gov.hk) of the LD also provides information and useful links relating to quarantine arrangements for FDHs.
Should there be enquiries on the quarantine arrangements for FDHs, please contact the LD through its 24-hour hotline at 2717 1771 (manned by 1823), by email to email@example.com or through the online form on the dedicated portal (www.fdh.labour.gov.hk).Note:
Persons under the category of Amber Code cannot enter the following premises subject to "active checking" of the Vaccine Pass and other premises in the capacity of a customer or visitor:
Premises regulated under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F) which are subject to "active checking" of the Vaccine Pass:
- Premises required to use the QR Code Verification Scanner and is regulated under Cap. 599F, i.e. catering business premises (including bars or pubs), amusement game centres, bathhouses, fitness centres, places of amusement, indoor places of public entertainment, party rooms, beauty parlours and massage establishments, club houses, clubs or nightclubs, karaoke establishments, mahjong-tin kau premises, indoor sports premises, swimming pools, cruise ships, indoor event premises, barber shops or hair salons and religious premises.
- Premises required to inspect the Vaccine Pass visually as far as feasible, i.e. outdoor places of public entertainment, outdoor sports premises and outdoor event premises.
Other premises: residential care homes for the elderly, residential care homes for persons with disabilities, schools and designated healthcare premises.
Ends/Wednesday, August 10, 2022