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Government announces the extension of Return2hk Travel Scheme to Hong Kong residents staying in other Mainland provinces and municipalities
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     The Government today (April 26) announced the extension of the Return2hk Travel Scheme (Return2hk Scheme) from Guangdong Province and Macao to other Mainland provinces and municipalities. Starting from April 29 (Thursday), Hong Kong residents staying in other Mainland provinces and municipalities, upon fulfillment of all specified conditions under the Return2hk Scheme, including not having stayed in places other than Hong Kong, the Mainland or Macao, or any places in the Mainland which are designated as "medium-risk" and "high-risk", in the past 14 days before arriving in Hong Kong (not including the period where a person has been undergoing compulsory quarantine in the Mainland or Macao under the requirement in that place) could be exempted from the 14-day compulsory quarantine requirement when returning to Hong Kong under the Return2hk Scheme. The online booking system for the Return2hk Scheme will be open for applications by Hong Kong residents who plan to return from the Mainland to Hong Kong via the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), starting from April 27 at 00:00 midnight.
 
     The Government spokesman said that as a first step to resume normal cross-boundary activities amongst residents of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao in a gradual and orderly manner, the Return2hk Scheme has been implemented since 23 November 2020 for Hong Kong residents to return from Guangdong Province and Macao without being subject to quarantine upon fulfillment of the specified conditions under the Scheme. The Scheme has been operating smoothly and over 135 900 passenger trips have been made by Hong Kong residents to return to Hong Kong under the Scheme. As the epidemic situation in the Mainland is currently under control, the Government considers that there is scope to extend the Return2hk Scheme in an orderly and controllable manner to cover Hong Kong residents returning to Hong Kong from other Mainland provinces and municipalities in addition to the Guangdong Province and Macao, so that these residents can choose to return to Hong Kong via the HKIA or the existing land boundary control points without being subject to 14-day compulsory quarantine requirement upon fulfillment of the specified conditions under the Scheme.
 
     To ensure that Hong Kong residents would be returning to Hong Kong under the Return2hk Scheme in a gradual and orderly manner to avoid increased public health risks at overcrowded HKIA and ports, a quota arrangement will still be put in place under the extended Return2hk Scheme. A daily quota of 1 000 has been set for the HKIA, while those for entry into Hong Kong through the land boundary control points of the Shenzhen Bay Port and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) Hong Kong Port will remain unchanged. They are 3 000 per day for the Shenzhen Bay Port and 2 000 per day for the HZMB Hong Kong Port.
 
     Hong Kong residents who wish to return to Hong Kong under the Return2hk Scheme, whether they choose to return via the HKIA or any one of the land boundary control points, must apply for a quota through the online booking system of the Scheme. They must return to Hong Kong on the date and via the boundary control point as specified in the booking. The detailed arrangements for entry into Hong Kong via the HKIA and land boundary control points are provided below:
 
Returning to Hong Kong via the HKIA
 
     Starting from April 27 at 00:00 midnight, Hong Kong residents aged 18 or above who plan to return from the Mainland to Hong Kong by flight can apply for a quota during the two-week period from April 29 to May 16 through the online booking system of the Return2hk Scheme. Hong Kong residents who have successfully reserved a quota and fulfilled other specified conditions may take a flight from the Mainland arriving in Hong Kong on April 29 the earliest and be exempted from the 14-day compulsory quarantine requirement. The online booking system will be operating 24/7 after inception and open the 14-day period of the following two weeks for quota application by Hong Kong residents every Wednesday at 00:00 midnight. An applicant may also apply for the quota for three accompanying Hong Kong residents. Applications for Hong Kong residents who are under 18 should be made on their behalf by their parents or guardians, and the number of their Hong Kong Identity Card or other personal identity document(s) should be provided. Quotas are administered on a first-come-first-served basis.
 
     The Government spokesman reminded that Hong Kong residents with a quota for returning Hong Kong via the HKIA must take the COVID-19 (RT-PCR) nucleic acid test in a nucleic acid testing organisation which is recongised by the National Health Commission and obtain the original copy of a paper-based proof of a valid negative nucleic acid test result. Information about the nucleic acid testing organisations recongised by the National Health Commission can be accessed through the nucleic acid testing organisation enquiry function of the State Council portal WeChat Mini Program.
 
     Before boarding, the Hong Kong residents with a quota should fill in the electronic health declaration form through the electronic health declaration system of the Department of Health (DH), including declaring relevant travel history and whether the specified conditions under the Return2hk Scheme have been fulfilled. A Return2hk Green QR code will be issued to those who have fulfilled all the specified conditions; otherwise, a Pink QR code will be shown, indicating that the Hong Kong resident may still be subject to 14-day compulsory quarantine upon arrival in Hong Kong. 
 
     The specified conditions under the Return2hk Scheme for entry in Hong Kong through the HKIA include having reserved a quota; not having stayed in places other than Hong Kong, the Mainland or Macao (not including the period of undergoing compulsory quarantine in the Mainland or Macao under the requirement in that place); and obtaining the aforementioned negative nucleic acid test result before arriving in Hong Kong. Hong Kong residents are required to present the relevant documentary proof, including the original copy of a paper-based proof of a valid negative nucleic acid test result, and the screenshot of the WeChat Mini Program to show that the relevant testing organisation is recognised by the National Health Commission to the crews at airline check-in counters.
 
     Upon their arrival, the Hong Kong residents with a quota should, apart from presenting their identification documents, the Return2hk Green QR codes, the aforementioned test result and screenshot upon arrival at Hong Kong, follow the instructions and arrangement of airport staff and proceed to the Temporary Specimen Collection Centre of DH at the airport for the COVID-19 test. They should then wait at the designated Return2hk area for the test result. If the test result is negative, they can proceed with immigration procedures and be exempted from the 14-day compulsory quarantine requirement. However, they must still undergo testing on the 12th day following their arrival in Hong Kong.
 
Returning to Hong Kong via Land Boundary Control Points
 
     The Government spokesman reminded that after the extension of the Return2hk Scheme, Hong Kong residents who are staying in Mainland provinces and municipalities other than Guangdong and who have reserved a quota through the online booking system can also choose to return Hong Kong via the Shenzhen Bay Port or the HZMB Hong Kong Port. The relevant conditions, arrangement and number of quotas remain unchanged. Therefore, all Hong Kong residents returning to Hong Kong via land boundary control points under the Return2hk Scheme must still take a COVID-19 (RT-PCR) nucleic acid test in one of the medical institutions mutually recognised by the governments of Hong Kong and Guangdong/Hong Kong and Macao. The sample should be taken from the person concerned on the day of arrival at Hong Kong or within the three days before that day so that he/she can present the proof of a valid negative nucleic acid test result at the boundary control point. The list of recognised medical or testing institutions in Guangdong Province is available at 
www.coronavirus.gov.hk/pdf/List_of_recognised_laboratories_GD.pdf;
whereas the list of recognised medical or testing institutions in Macao is available at www.coronavirus.gov.hk/pdf/List_of_recognised_laboratories_MO.pdf. Before arriving at the boundary control points, they should also transmit the valid negative test result to the electronic health declaration system of DH through "Yuekang code" (粵康碼) or "Macao health code" (澳康碼). They should also fill in and submit the electronic health declaration form. A Green QR code will be issued to those who have fulfilled all the specified conditions, with which they would be exempted from the 14-day compulsory quarantine requirement upon their return to Hong Kong. However, they must still undergo testing on the 2nd and 12th day following their arrival at Hong Kong.
 
     The Government spokesman also emphasised that Hong Kong residents who can fulfil all the specified conditions and are returning to Hong Kong under the Return2hk Scheme should still exercise self-monitoring of their health conditions for at least 14 days after their entry into Hong Kong. They should observe the points listed in "The Health-monitoring Checklist for Inbound Travellers". If they feel unwell, they should seek medical advice promptly and reveal their travel history to medical practitioners.  If there is any concern about their symptoms, they may make a request to their doctors for taking a relevant virus test.
 
Re-entry into the Mainland
 
     The Government spokesman reminded Hong Kong residents who are returning to Hong Kong under the Return2hk Scheme that they would still be subject to the prevailing quarantine arrangements of the Mainland (e.g. 14-day compulsory quarantine) when they subsequently return from Hong Kong to the Mainland, unless exemption has been granted to them separately. They should therefore take note of the latest quarantine arrangements of the Mainland, and make necessary preparations.
 
     Details of the Return2hk Scheme are available at the "COVID-19 Thematic Website" (return2hk.gov.hk or 回港易.政府.香港). Members of the public may also call the hotline of the Return2hk Scheme at 3142 2330 if they have any enquiries.
 
     The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government will maintain close communication with the relevant authorities in the Mainland and Macao SAR Government to discuss the further resumption of cross-boundary people flow amongst the three places having regard to the latest epidemic situation. The Come2hk Scheme now scheduled for launch in mid-May will facilitate non-Hong Kong residents staying in Guangdong and Macao to come to Hong Kong without being subject to compulsory quarantine requirement upon fulfillment of specified conditions under that Scheme. The co-ordination and preparation work for that Scheme is currently underway and the HKSAR Government will promulgate the relevant details at suitable juncture.
 
Ends/Monday, April 26, 2021
Issued at HKT 14:13
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