Arrivals to Hong Kong who become infected with Covid-19 while quarantining in designated hotels can stay on site and do not need to go to the city’s isolation facilities, starting in November.
In a press release issued late on Tuesday, the government noted that new clauses would be added to the contracts for designated quarantine hotels in the ninth cycle to “allow [hotel] guests identified as confirmed cases to stay in their original hotel to undergo isolation” having considered the current development of the pandemic and assessed the relevant requirements and circumstances.
However, guests will be required to pay for any additional nights they need to spend at their hotel due to their isolation status.
The ninth cycle of the designated quarantine hotel scheme runs from Nov. 1, 2022 to Feb. 28, 2023.
Currently, arrivals staying in quarantine hotels who are identified as confirmed cases are sent to isolation hotels or the community isolation facilities in Penny’s Bay or Kai Tak.
Hotels must strengthen their relevant infection control measures, such as arranging specific floors or rooms to isolate the confirmed cases and installing additional air purifiers at appropriate locations, the government noted in its release.
Hotel staff will also have to put on appropriate personal protective gear to reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
“The arrangement will save confirmed cases from traveling and enable better utilization of manpower and vehicles originally deployed for transporting confirmed cases, while reducing the transmission risk during the transportation process,” the release reads.
The Office of the Designated Quarantine Hotel Scheme will discuss the details of the new arrangement’s implementation with the industry to ensure that it can be put into practice under the principles of ensuring proper isolation arrangements for confirmed cases in hotels and avoiding any increased risks of infection for hotel staff.
The government also announced that EAST Hong Kong has joined the eighth cycle of the quarantine hotel scheme. The hotel will start accepting room bookings and operating from Thursday.
Meanwhile, Four Points by Sheraton Hong Kong will provide extra hotel rooms.
Taking into account the new hotel joining the scheme and the hotels that withdrew from the scheme, there are 62 hotels for the eighth cycle in total, offering around 23,600 rooms from Aug. 1 to Oct. 31.