Exemption arrangement under Compulsory Quarantine of Persons Arriving at Hong Kong from Foreign Places Regulation

     Compulsory Quarantine of Persons Arriving at Hong Kong from Foreign Places Regulation (Cap. 599E) (the Regulation), made under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Public Health Emergency) Regulation, will commence at 0.00am tomorrow (March 19).
     In accordance with section 4(1) of the Regulation, the Chief Secretary for Administration has exempted the following categories of persons from the quarantine requirement with effect from the commencement of the Regulation:

1. crew members of aircrafts who need to commute to and from foreign places for performance of necessary duties; 

2. crew members of goods vessels; 

3. government officials carrying out governmental duties; 

4. Public officers at or above the level of Executive Directors (or equivalent) in the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Securities and Futures Commission and the Insurance Authority undertaking international obligations and/or participating in international co-operation pursuant to their regulatory functions; 

5. construction personnel tasked to carry out off-site duties in foreign places that are essential and cannot be replaced by other means to ensure the quality, integrity and statutory compliance of services or components to be used in government projects; 

6. experts, personnel of the academic sectors or of international authorities who are engaged in research and/or provide advice in combating the COVID-19 infection to the HKSAR Government; 

7. staff and personnel of public bodies and their partners for the supply of wristbands and related materials for home quarantine; and 

8. personnel of public bodies and their partners, agencies, companies or organisations for the supply to Hong Kong of personal protective equipment (PPE) or materials/equipment for the production of PPEs.

     The Department of Health (DH) will arrange medical surveillance for persons under the above exempted categories of persons during their stay in Hong Kong. Persons under medical surveillance are required to wear masks and check temperature daily for reporting to the DH. In addition, exempted persons are also subject to the temperature check and health declaration procedures carried out by the DH at various boundary control points during arrival and departure clearance.
     In accordance with section 4(1) of the Regulation, the Chief Secretary for Administration may exempt any person or categories of people from the quarantine requirement if the Chief Secretary is satisfied that the person's or persons' entry into Hong Kong are–
  • 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 $25,000 and imprisonment for six months.
     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.

Ends/Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Issued at HKT 21:30