Hong Kong cancels pre-departure tests

Travel to and from Hong Kong is now fully back to normal and the requirement for ART testing prior to departure has finally been lifted.

Hong Kong finally lifted the last of its COVID-19 travel restrictions this month, maintaining some of the strictest COVID-19 health and border measures during the pandemic, and canceled pre-departure Testing required 2023.

Until then, the process of visiting the city-state has gradually become easier and more realistic since late September 2022 when the policy was gradually relaxed.

Pre-departure test canceled

The only aspect of traveling to Hong Kong that is not quite Going back to pre-pandemic standards is the pre-departure testing requirement.

Believe it or not, by March 31, 2023, take a self-swab pre-departure antigen (ART) test within 24 hours of departure, or an in-office PCR test within 48 hours (if you prefer) still Requirements for travel to Hong Kong.

No supervision is required, and no clinic visits if you don’t want to – you can basically just swab at home with a S$5 ART kit.

Arriving travelers are asked to keep a photo of a negative test result for 90 days and provide it upon request, but no one seems to want to see it!

The Hong Kong government admitted earlier this year to keep only the PDT “for the time being”but now it’s officially gone.

From April 1, 2023, inbound passengers will no longer be restricted by Hong Kong, and the pre-departure test requirement will be cancelled.

(Source: Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region)

This brings Hong Kong’s travel process back exactly to pre-pandemic normalcy – no vaccinations, no testing, no movement restrictions, no masks, and no silly forms.

This scenario would have seemed unthinkable six months ago, when hotel quarantines had just been lifted, but a raft of other restrictions still made leisure travel taboo.

The long road to Hong Kong before the coronavirus outbreak

In the form of the failed Air Travel Bubble (ATB), Hong Kong went from being the first potential quarantine-free travel option for Singapore residents to the last oneChina’s Special Administrative Region (SAR) will not finally begin easing entry requirements until September 2022, nearly two years after the unfortunate ATB was first rolled out.

Here are the city’s most important reopening steps:

  • September 26, 2022: Hotel quarantine is lifted, but strict testing regime and inaccessibility to most venues for 3 days after arrival remain (i.e. mostly in favor of returns) resident).
  • November 17, 2022: Two-quarters of PCR tests for arriving passengers were canceled, while restrictions on movement for three days after arrival were eased slightly.
  • December 14, 2022: Movement restrictions on arrival have been lifted, but PCR testing remains in place.
  • December 29, 2022: On-arrival and post-arrival PCR testing was abolished and pre-departure ART self-swab testing became the only mandatory test.
  • February 6, 2023: Vaccination requirements for travel to Hong Kong have been removed.
  • March 1, 2023: Hong Kong has waived its mask requirement, removing the requirement to wear masks in all places except medical facilities (in 2022, wearing masks on flights will become optional).
  • April 1, 2023: The pre-departure test was cancelled.

The latest procedures for traveling to Hong Kong

Below is the latest procedure for traveling to Hong Kong from any country.

to hong kong

image 1 25
Eligibility and Vaccinations
  • Hold one of more than 160 nationalities to enter Hong Kong visa-free, or obtain a visa in advance
  • vaccination is no required.
  • travel insurance is no mandatory.
  • Tourist stays range from 14-180 days, depending on your nationality.
  • Citizens of Singapore can visit for 90 days.
COVID-19 test
  • respected ART test daily for the first five days after arrival (this is no mandatory).
  • Masks must be worn in healthcare settings.

to hong kong

Singapore – Hong Kong flights

Flight schedules have gradually increased since Hong Kong lifted its quarantine, and there are now 63 weekly flights between Singapore and the city-state.

That’s more than double the level of September 2022, when quarantines were first lifted, but still less than half the pre-pandemic weekly level of 137 (January 2020).

Flights for April 2023 are shown in the table below.

Singapore – Hong Kong flights
(April 2023)

Cathay Pacific, in particular, has increased its daily flights to four, while Singapore Airlines offers three daily flights, including its largest passenger plane, the A380.

cx a351 3 small cathay pacific
Cathay Pacific currently operates 28 weekly flights between Singapore and Hong Kong. (Photo: Cathay Pacific)

Cathay Pacific reopened its dedicated lounge at Changi T4 in February and is gradually closing all lounges around the world, including The Pier first-class lounge in Hong Kong, by September 2023.

Singapore Airlines has resumed its flights early fourth From October 1, 2023 to August 1, 2023, daily Hong Kong flights will be operated by Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with new SQ894/895 flights, which also means that the route will increase first-class capacity.

Hong Kong is now part of SIA’s Spontaneous Escapes monthly rewards promotion in January 2023, February 2023, March 2023 and April 2023, offering discounted redemptions in Economy, Premium Economy and Business Class, including certain Airbus A380 in these months.

We’re hoping to continue that trend with our May deal, which will be released in mid-April.

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Hong Kong has fully returned to pre-COVID-19 normality since April 1, 2023, with the removal of strict mask regulations, vaccination requirements, post-arrival testing and movement restrictions over the past six months. Testing requirements.

The last remaining requirement – self-swab ART testing at home – probably didn’t deter many people from visiting, and may not really be complied with anymore, but nonetheless, it’s good to see it finally being lifted.

It’s been a long road, but for all tourists now, traveling to Hong Kong is an entirely pre-COVID experience.

Are you planning to travel to Hong Kong from April 1st? Let us know in the comments section below!

(Cover photo: Robert Bai)

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