Be aware of these hidden costs related to coronavirus

Be aware of these hidden costs related to coronavirus

With the holidays approaching, Hong Kong has eased travel restrictions. The new arrangement marks the official opening of Hong Kong’s tourism door. At the same time as the removal of the “0+3” medical monitoring requirement, the city also eliminated the “Amber Code” rule. Previously, the Amber Regulations prohibited international tourists from entering restaurants and bars within three days of arrival.

But at least some aspects of the pandemic-era travel landscape have become the new normal: testing requirements and travel insurance. You must have set up your travel budget, purchased your flight tickets and booked your hotel in Hong Kong. But what about the costs associated with COVID-19? Have you considered travel insurance? It will be a few extra dollars. Thank you! Testing for COVID-19 alone can add up to $500 to your budget.

Are you going to Hong Kong? Be sure to consider these travel costs related to COVID-19.

Travel to Hong Kong: COVID-19-related expenses for inbound travelers

1. PCR test on the third day after arrival

Under the updated guidelines, you must undergo a PCR test on your first and third day of arrival. While you don’t have to pay for the test upon arrival at the airport, you will be charged on the third day. Hong Kong has multiple mobile sample collection stations and private hospitals that offer PCR testing. The fee for a PCR test at the testing center is HK$150. Private hospitals such as Canossa Hospital, Gleneagles and Hong Kong Baptist Hospital charge from HK$1,320 to HK$2,000.

Image credit: Courtesy of Pixabay

2. If the test result is positive, you will be required to pay medical expenses

Travel is still a slippery slope. While we are slowly returning to normal, the chance of infection while traveling still exists. In Hong Kong, you have to take a certified exam on the first and third day. If at any time you test positive, you will be immediately isolated and will be responsible for all medical costs. After that, if you develop symptoms while traveling in Hong Kong, you have to pay between HK$300 and HK$800 to see a doctor.

3. Travel insurance with COVID-19 benefits

This useful safety net has saved travelers lives countless times over the past few years, not to mention substantial amounts of money. While most travel insurance policies automatically include Covid-19 benefits, they do not cover border closures and government advisories. Additionally, many premium travel rewards cards with extensive travel insurance benefits have some limitations. So be sure to read up on your specific usage. The cost of a travel health insurance policy is as variable as any other form of private insurance.

4. If you violate the rules, you will be subject to COVID-19 penalties

Hong Kong has imposed strict fines and penalties for those who fail to comply with Covid-19 rules. Any inbound visitor can be fined up to HK$10,000 and imprisoned for six months. So if you go out, remember to wear a mask, maintain social distance and wash your hands frequently.

5. Backhaul test

Most countries require testing before departure. If you need to have a negative COVID-19 test before returning to your country, you will need to spend a few Hong Kong dollars more to complete the test. In a private hospital, this could cost you up to HK$200. Plus, these costs can add up quickly if you test positive.

With social distancing, face masks and testing requirements, travel is very different now.

(Hero image: Courtesy of Ruslan Bardash/Unsplash; Feature image: Courtesy of Need Pix)

This story first appeared in Lifestyle Asia in Hong Kong

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