Hong Kong to launch two-colour Covid-19 health code and cut hotel quarantine

The government is considering moving to five days of hotel quarantine. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - Hong Kong plans to cut hotel quarantine for arrivals with the introduction of a two-colour health code system, Sing Tao Daily reported on Monday (July 25).

The government is considering moving to five days of hotel quarantine, after which arrivals will be issued with a so-called yellow health code for two days that would prohibit them from entering high-risk areas where masks can be removed.

Another option under consideration is four days of hotel isolation followed by three days of yellow code restrictions, according to the report, which cited an unidentified person.

Hong Kong currently requires seven-day quarantine for arrivals. The government is expected to make a decision in the next one to two weeks, the Chinese-language newspaper said.

The South China Morning Post said the city may roll out the China-style health code as soon as early August to prevent Covid-19 patients and those in quarantine from entering high-risk venues.

Authorities are pushing to make Hong Kong's vaccine pass system tied to the Leave Home Safe app more effective by identifying infected people with a red code and giving arrivals in quarantine a yellow code, the report said, citing people it didn't identify.

Separately, Hong Kong will require travellers to the city to fill out an electronic health declaration form before boarding a flight, no longer allowing them to do the paperwork after landing, in an effort to make the process more efficient, the government said in a statement on Sunday. The new system will begin on July 28 on a trial basis.

In addition to standard health and arrival details, passengers must provide proof of vaccination and a reference number for a quarantine hotel stay in order to get the QR code needed to board a flight into the Asian financial hub, the government said.

Hong Kong on Sunday reported 4,250 total new Covid-19 infections, including 186 imported cases.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.