COVID-related fees for new visitors

Hong Kong has eased travel restrictions as the holidays approach. The new arrangement marks the opening of Hong Kong’s tourism door. While canceling the “0+3” medical supervision requirements, the city also canceled the “yellow code” regulations. Previously, the Amber Code 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 have to set your travel budget, buy flight tickets and book hotels in Hong Kong. But what about COVID-related costs? Have you considered travel insurance? That would be a few extra dollars. Thank you! COVID testing alone will add $500 to your budget.

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

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

1. PCR test on the third day after arrival

According to the updated guidelines, you must undergo a PCR test on the 1st and 3rd day of arrival. Although you don’t have to pay for the test at the airport upon arrival, you must pay the fee on the third day. There are several mobile specimen collection points and private hospitals in Hong Kong that provide polymerase chain reaction testing. The fee for a PCR test at the testing center is HK$150. Private hospitals such as Canossa Hospital, Gleneagles Hospital and Hong Kong Baptist Hospital range from HK$1,320 to HK$2,000.

Image: Courtesy of Pixabay

2. Medical expenses in case of positive test

Traveling is still a slippery slope. While we are slowly getting back to normal, the chance of getting infected while traveling still exists. In Hong Kong, you have to take the certification 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 during your Hong Kong visit, you have to pay anything between HK$300 and HK$800 to see a doctor.

3. Travel Insurance with COVID-19 Benefits

Over the past few years, this helpful safety net has saved travelers the day countless times — not to mention tons 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. Travel health insurance costs just as much as any other form of private insurance.

4. COVID Penalties for Violations

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 pay a few Hong Kong dollars more to complete the test. In a private hospital, this could cost you up to HK$200. Plus, those costs add up quickly if you test positive.

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

(Main image: Courtesy of Ruslan Bardash/Unsplash; Featured image: Courtesy of Need Pix)

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