Return2hk scheme unveiled

Hong Kong residents who fulfil specified conditions will be exempted from the 14-day compulsory quarantine requirement when they return to Hong Kong from Guangdong or Macau starting November 23.

Director for Constitutional & Mainland Affairs (Special Duties) Tommy Yuen announced the Return2hk travel scheme at a press conference today.

Under the scheme, Hong Kong residents must not have been to places other than Hong Kong, Guangdong or Macau in the past 14 days.

Mr Yuen said a quota will be put in place to control the number of cross-boundary travellers during the initial stage of the scheme’s implementation. 

“Having a quota there is simply because of our wish to ensure that the boundary control points are handled or operated in an orderly manner without overcrowding and without increasing the health or exposure risk in that area.

“So, once the operation of this Return2hk scheme is smooth and in place - technically, if the boundary control points are smooth sailing all around - there is no need for any quota at all.

“But of course to play safe, we would like to have this quota system in place in the initial stage to ensure that people do not rush back and overcrowd the boundary control points.”

A daily quota of 3,000 has been set for the Shenzhen Bay Port, while that for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) Hong Kong Port is 2,000.

Residents who wish to return to Hong Kong under the scheme should apply for a quota using the online booking system.

The system will open every Wednesday at 9am until Friday at 6pm to accept quota applications for the seven-day period of the following week.

The first batch of quotas will open for booking from November 18 to 21.

Quotas will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Each applicant may apply for the quota for a maximum of three accompanying Hong Kong residents.

After securing a quota, the Hong Kong resident should undergo a COVID-19 nucleic acid test three days prior to their entry into Hong Kong.

The test has to be done at one of the medical institutions mutually recognised by the governments of Hong Kong and Guangdong, or Hong Kong and Macau.

Before arriving at the boundary control point, they should transmit a valid negative COVID-19 nucleic acid test result to the Department of Health’s electronic health declaration system through the Yuekang code or Macao health code.

They should also fill in all other required information for completing the health declaration to obtain a Green QR code within 24 hours before their return trip to Hong Kong to expedite the clearance process.

A dedicated channel will be set up at both the Shenzhen Bay Port and HZMB Hong Kong Port for travellers with a Green QR code. 

Mr Yuen reminded residents who are returning to Hong Kong under the scheme that they would still be subject to Guangdong or Macau’s quarantine arrangements such as a 14-day compulsory quarantine when they leave Hong Kong for the two places.