Important COVID-19 Travel
Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not travel, including abroad, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays and other leisure purposes.
If you intend to travel to the UK from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.
When you enter England from abroad (except Ireland), you must follow the new requirements for quarantining and taking additional COVID-19 tests. For those travelling from a country on the banned travel list you will be required to quarantine in a hotel. Different rules apply for arrivals into England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
If you are legally permitted to travel abroad, check our advice on your country of destination. Some other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning.
This travel advice covers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR). For mainland China, see travel advice for China.
If you are arriving in the UK from Hong Kong on or after 4am on 18 January you will need to self-isolate on your arrival, unless you have a valid exemption. Check the latest guidance for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Travel to Hong Kong is subject to entry restrictions
- Travellers who have visited the UK for more than two hours within the past 21 days will be denied entry to Hong Kong. This includes those transiting the UK if they disembark the aircraft.
- Travellers who have visited Brazil, Ireland or South Africa for more than two hours within the past 21 days will be denied entry.
All Hong Kong residents arriving at Hong Kong who have stayed outside of mainland China, Macao or Taiwan in the 21 days before arrival must undergo compulsory quarantine for 21 days at designated quarantine hotels at their own expense. This period may be extended to 28 days at the discretion of the Hong Kong SAR government.
- Travellers from overseas countries/territories, who are not Hong Kong residents, will be denied entry
Those who are eligible to enter Hong Kong will be required to take mandatory medical coronavirus tests upon arrival, during quarantine and at the end of quarantine.
- Travellers from specified high risk places, will also need to provide evidence of a negative test result for COVID-19 taken no more than 72 hours prior to their departure
- Transit services at Hong Kong International Airport have resumed for passengers who can be checked through from port of origin to final destination
See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.
Preparing for your return journey to the UK
If you’re returning to the UK from overseas, you will need to:
- provide your journey and contact details before you travel
If your return journey to the UK transits another country, you should check whether it is subject to a travel ban or any other additional requirements. If so, contact your travel provider.
Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.
If you’re planning travel to Hong Kong, find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.
For information about COVID-19 vaccines, see the Coronavirus page.
New national security legislation passed by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee meeting in Beijing entered into force in Hong Kong on 1 July 2020. It introduces offences on secession, subversion, organisation and perpetration of terrorist activities, and collusion with a foreign country with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. These offences can be applied to activities conducted outside Hong Kong. China’s mainland authorities could under certain circumstances detain and try individuals under the terms of this law. There is therefore a risk for those who commit an offence under the law of being detained and removed to mainland China. Due to ongoing heightened political sensitivity, there could be an increase in protests and violence. These could occur without warning, throughout Hong Kong. You should avoid protests and demonstrations. See Political situation.
Throughout 2019, large-scale political demonstrations took place all over the Hong Kong SAR, including in areas popular with tourists. While a number of peaceful activities took place, many other protests led to clashes between police and protesters involving significant violence. You should keep up to date with developments across Hong Kong. You can sign up for email alerts to be notified when this travel advice is updated.
There are reports of greater scrutiny from mainland authorities at border crossings between the mainland and Hong Kong at this time, including checks on travellers’ electronic devices. See Visits to mainland China
Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Hong Kong, attacks cannot be ruled out. See Terrorism
The typhoon season in Hong Kong normally runs from April to October. See Natural disasters
You should take sensible precautions against pick pocketing and other street crime. See Crime
The British Consulate-General has been informed that Hong Kong, like other parts of China, does not recognise dual nationality. If you have both British and Chinese nationality you may be treated as a Chinese citizen by local authorities, even if you enter Hong Kong on your British passport. If this is the case, the British Consulate-General may not be able to offer you consular assistance. The FCDO has published guidance on nationality in China. If you have formally renounced Chinese citizenship, you should carry evidence that you have done so. See Local laws and customs
470,295 British nationals visited Hong Kong in 2019. Most visits are trouble free.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.