Latest Legislative Amendments on Cross-boundary Control Measures

imposed by HKSAR Government


On September 29, 2020, the HKSAR Government updated regulations related to the pandemic. The announcement states that the latest legislative amendments on the Cross-boundary Control Measures among others, including the regulation regarding the compulsory 14-day quarantine of certain persons arriving at Hong Kong will be extended to December 31, 2020.


Cross-boundary Control Measures


Stringent cross-boundary epidemic control measures are integral to the Government's epidemic control work. To prevent the importation of cases, the Government will continue to stay vigilant and have to maintain suitable cross-boundary testing arrangements as additional safeguard in prevention and control of disease, so as to contain the potential risk brought about by the increase of passenger flow while relaxing the control on inbound passenger traffic progressively.

To enable the Government to flexibly relax in a gradual manner the compulsory quarantine requirement on inbound travellers from certain countries and places or those belonging to particular categories after assessing the relevant public health risks, the Government today gazetted amendments to the Compulsory Quarantine of Certain Persons Arriving at Hong Kong Regulation (Cap. 599C) and the Compulsory Quarantine of Persons Arriving at Hong Kong from Foreign Places Regulation (Cap. 599E). The amendments empower the Secretary for Food and Health to specify any categories of persons when specifying Category 2 specified places to exclude the relevant persons from the requirements in respect of the compulsory quarantine arrangements subject to meeting certain conditions. The amendments will take effect on September 30, 2020.

The Government is now closely monitoring the situation of certain places where the epidemic situation has been under control for a sustained period of time with no local transmission for an extended period of time and the number of cases maintaining at a relative low level (such as the Mainland and Macao), in order to assess whether these places may be specified as Category 2 specified places. This would pave the way for allowing specific categories of persons (such as Hong Kong residents) to be excluded from the requirements in respect of the 14-day compulsory quarantine arrangements upon entry into Hong Kong subject to meeting certain conditions (such as obtaining a negative COVID-19 test result valid within a specific period) with a view to gradually allowing the resumption of the flow of people to/from these places when the epidemic situation permits. The Government will continue to closely monitor the epidemic situation and review the cross-boundary arrangements and capacities of the various boundary control points in Hong Kong and make announcements when the relevant arrangements are ready for implementation.

In addition, taking into account the need to continue to restrict movement of people between Hong Kong and other places and implement corresponding boundary control measures or compulsory quarantine measures on inbound travellers from different places in the near future, the Government will extend the expiry date of Cap. 599C and the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap. 599H) by more than two months to December 31, 2020.

The spokesman pointed out that, extending the expiry dates of the relevant regulations did not imply that the restrictions currently imposed under those regulations would be maintained until the corresponding expiry dates. Rather, the relevant statutory framework had provisions in place to allow flexibility such that the Government may tighten or relax or even suspend specific requirements and conditions subject to development of the epidemic situation in line with the "suppress and lift" strategy.


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