Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, USA
Hong Kong
News Release



Compulsory Quarantine of Persons Arriving at Hong Kong from Foreign Places Regulation gazetted

 



For more information, please contact

Melissa Ng in New York City: (212) 752 3320
Wing Yan Tong in San Francisco: (415) 835 9315

Daniel McAtee in Washington, D.C.: (202) 238 6360




March 18, 2020 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government published in the Gazette today the Compulsory Quarantine of Persons Arriving at Hong Kong from Foreign Places Regulation (Cap. 599E).  The Regulation introduces a resolute and rigorous measure to combat the global outbreak of the COVID-19 by imposing compulsory quarantine orders on all persons arriving from all places outside China. The Regulation will commence at 0.00am on March 19 and take effect for three months.

Under the Regulation, all persons having stayed in overseas countries and territories specified by a general notice in the Gazette for any period during the 14 days preceding arrival in Hong Kong, regardless of nationality and travel documents used, will be subject to compulsory quarantine for 14 days.  

Following the Government’s announcement on March 17 on the Red Outbound Travel Alert issued on all foreign countries and territories, and in accordance with the Regulation, the Secretary for Food and Health announced by a notice in the Gazette that the compulsory quarantine requirement would apply to arrivals from all places outside China starting from 0.00am on March 19.

Under the Regulation, the relevant person, during the quarantine period, will be quarantined (a) in a place assigned by an authorized officer; or (b) if an authorized officer considers it prudent and appropriate in the circumstances of the case — in a place nominated by the person when the quarantine order is made against the person.  

With reference to the Compulsory Quarantine of Certain Persons Arriving at Hong Kong Regulation (Cap. 599C), the Chief Secretary for Administration may, according to the Regulation, exempt certain categories of people fulfilling the following criteria from the quarantine requirement:

- supplying goods or services required for the normal operation of Hong Kong or the daily needs of the people in Hong Kong;

- for governmental operation;

- for the protection of the safety or health of the people of Hong Kong or the handling of public health emergency; or

- cases of exceptional circumstance that serves the public interest of Hong Kong.

Contravening the quarantine requirement would be a criminal offence. Offenders are subject to a maximum fine of HK$25,000 (US$3,205) and imprisonment for six months.

The Regulations are made in accordance with the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance (Cap. 599). Section 8 of the Ordinance empowers the Chief Executive in Council to make public health emergency regulation for the purposes of preventing, combating or alleviating the effects of a public health emergency and protecting public health.

The Government had earlier published in the Gazette on February 7, 2020 the Compulsory Quarantine of Certain Persons Arriving at Hong Kong Regulation (Cap. 599C), which mandates all persons having stayed in the Mainland for any period during the 14 days preceding arrival in Hong Kong, regardless of nationality and travel documents used will be subject to compulsory quarantine for 14 days, has remained unchanged.

The Department of Health (DH)’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP) has been closely monitoring the situation around the world.  The global situation in particular in Europe is rapidly evolving with a continuous surge in the number of affected countries and confirmed cases. Locally transmitted cases are reported in many countries.

The DH will closely monitor the situation. Any updates will be issued through the media, the Government’s “COVID-19 Thematic Website” (www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/index.html) and the DH’s webpage (www.gov.hk/ncv).


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