Important COVID-19 travel guidance
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Travel to some countries and territories is currently exempted.
This advice is being kept under constant review. Travel disruption is still possible and national control measures may be brought in with little notice, so check our travel guidance.
The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.
The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Entry to Hong Kong
Travellers arriving in Hong Kong on flights from overseas countries/territories, who are not Hong Kong residents, will be denied entry to Hong Kong. Non-Hong Kong residents travelling to Hong Kong from mainland China, Macao or Taiwan will also be denied entry if they have been to any overseas country/territory in the past 14 days. Spouses and minor children of Hong Kong residents are exempt from the above restrictions.
All travellers entering Hong Kong, including Hong Kong residents, will have to take a mandatory medical test for coronavirus on arrival and will be required to undergo 14-day compulsory quarantine. Arrivals may be placed in a Hong Kong government quarantine centre.
On 1 October, the UK was added to the list of “specified high risk places” under the Hong Kong SAR Government’s Prevention and Control of Disease Regulation (Cap. 599H). Travellers who have visited these places (i.e. The United States, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and South Africa) within the past 14 days, will be required to provide confirmation of a hotel room reservation in Hong Kong for no less than 14 days, starting on the day of their arrival. Travellers from these destinations will also be required to provide negative nucleic acid test result for COVID-19 taken no more than 72 hours prior to their departure. You should check Hong Kong SAR Government’s website for important details about the required documents. There are additional requirements for children travelling alone, as some hotels do not accept minors without an accompanying adult. Further detail can be found on the Hong Kong SAR Government’s website.
You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.
All passengers, including departing, arriving and transfer/transit passengers are required to wear face masks in all passenger accessible areas of Hong Kong International Airport.
For up-to-date advice on entry requirements and restrictions, visit the Hong Kong SAR Government coronavirus website.
Transiting Hong Kong
Transit services at Hong Kong International Airport resumed on 15 June for passengers who can be checked through from port of origin to final destination. Transiting between flights operated by different airlines is now allowed. Transiting through Hong Kong from, but not to, mainland China is now allowed until 15 October. You should check with your travel agent or airline before travelling and check the Hong Kong International Airport website.
There is a risk you will be placed into 14 days government quarantine. All passengers able to transit Hong Kong International Airport will be subject to advanced screening measures, including temperature checks. Those passengers not displaying a high temperature will be allowed to connect to their next flight. But passengers deemed to have a high temperature will undergo further checks by the Port Health Office at the airport. If you meet further risk criteria, you will be transferred to a Hong Kong public hospital for mandatory checks/treatment, where it is highly likely you will be asked to complete a mandatory COVID-19 test. If you successfully pass health screening you will be required to sit in designated areas at boarding gates and use designated queues in dining facilities and shops, in line with Hong Kong International Airport anti-virus measures.
Travel between Hong Kong, Macao and mainland China
All border crossings with mainland China remain closed indefinitely, with the exception of the Shenzhen Bay Checkpoint and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge. All passengers wanting to board a shuttle bus to cross the bridge departing from Hong Kong to Macau must present a certificate confirming that they have tested negative for COVID-19 within seven days of their departure. The special ferry service between Taipa Ferry Terminal in Macao and Hong Kong International Airport has now ceased operations. All ferry crossings between Hong Kong and mainland China are currently not in operation. Kai Tak Cruise and Ocean Terminals are also closed to passengers indefinitely.
Certain groups of people travelling from mainland China, Taiwan and Macao may be granted an exemption from quarantine requirements by applying in advance to the Chief Secretary of the Administration. These groups include people involved in receiving or providing education and those travelling for purposes relating to manufacturing operations, business activities or the provision of professional services in the interest of Hong Kong’s economic development.
Health Declaration form
All inbound travellers via Hong Kong International Airport are required to submit a health declaration form.
Testing / screening on arrival
All arrivals (including transit passengers) will be subject to advanced screening measures, including temperature checks. Those deemed to have a high temperature will undergo further checks by the Port Health Office at the airport. If they meet further risk criteria, they will be transferred to a Hong Kong public hospital for mandatory checks/treatment.
All asymptomatic arrivals ending their journey at Hong Kong International Airport will have to provide a saliva sample which will be tested for coronavirus. After collecting baggage, travellers will be taken by shuttle bus to the designated location. Travellers will have to wait for test results, before proceeding to their mandatory quarantine location.
Passengers arriving on morning flights will be taken to the AsiaWorld Expo centre and will receive test results on the same day. This could take 8 or more hours. Passengers arriving in the afternoon and evening will need to wait for test results overnight, and will be temporarily accommodated in the Department of Health Holding Centre for Test Results (HCTR) set up in the Regal Oriental Hotel win Kowloon.
If the sample tests positive, the Hong Kong authorities will notify you and arrange for admission to a public hospital. All arrivals, including those who test negative for coronavirus, are required to undergo 14-day compulsory quarantine. See “Quarantine requirements” below.
Quarantine is usually spent at a hotel or residential address, but arrivals may be placed in a Hong Kong government quarantine centre. Family members of someone who tests positive, or those who have been in close contact, will also be required to go in to a government quarantine centre.
For up-to-date advice on entry requirements and restrictions, please visit: https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/inbound-travel.html
For all quarantine arrangements in Hong Kong:
- you are not allowed to leave your designated quarantine location for 14 days. This means you are also unable to leave Hong Kong for the duration of the quarantine
- if you are allocated a government quarantine centre, you may be asked to contribute around £20 (HK$200) per night towards the cost
- items that can be taken in to government quarantine are restricted. There is no smoking allowed and no alcohol. Depending on your centre, facilities may be basic: there may be no fridge and no air-conditioning
- you will be issued with a bluetooth-enabled wristband which will be activated at the airport and linked to a mobile app ‘StayHomeSafe’ on your phone. The bluetooth-enabled wristbands will alert the authorities if the wearer leaves their registered address with or without their phone
Failure to comply with the quarantine conditions may result in you being immediately taken to Government quarantine facilities. You could face a 6-month prison sentence and a substantial fine. You should comply with the requirements of your quarantine arrangements.
See the Hong Kong Government coronavirus website for further information.
Regular entry requirements
Although Hong Kong is now part of the People’s Republic of China it remains a Special Administrative Region with its own immigration controls. You can visit Hong Kong for up to 6 months without a visa. Though please note during the COVID-19 pandemic, different entry requirements are being applied in Hong Kong, including refusing entry to all non-Hong Kong residents. For up-to-date advice on entry requirements and restrictions, please visit: https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/inbound-travel.html
If you plan to work or study in Hong Kong, or stay for a period of longer than 6 months you will need to get a visa. For further information contact the nearest Chinese mission with visa issuing facilities or the Hong Kong Immigration Department (Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong; telephone: 852 2824 6111).
Your passport should be valid for at least one month after the date of your departure from Hong Kong.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Hong Kong.
Visits to mainland China and Macao
China is suspending the entry of foreign nationals into China from 28 March, including those with existing visas. The only exemptions will be diplomatic, service, courtesy or C visas. Only those with a visa issued on or after 27 March will be allowed to enter China. See China travel advice.
The Hong Kong SAR Government announced that all border crossings with mainland China would close from 12.01am on 4 February 2020 (local time), with the exception of the Shenzhen Bay Checkpoint and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge. The special ferry service between Taipa Ferry Terminal in Macao and Hong Kong International Airport will resume from 17 June to 16 July 2020 to facilitate the return of Macao residents. All ferry crossings between Hong Kong and mainland China are currently not in operation. The bus service between Hong Kong and Macao, using the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, recommenced a limited service on 8 May. Please contact the service provider for the latest schedule.
There has also been a significant reduction in flights between mainland China and Hong Kong, though some flights are still operating. Check your travel plans with your travel provider before departure.
If you are travelling to mainland China via Hong Kong you must get a Chinese visa before arrival at the border. Visas are not available on arrival at the Chinese border for British passport holders. If you’re entering Hong Kong via mainland China and leaving again via the mainland, you will need a double or multiple entry visa for mainland China.
All other ferry crossings and commercial bus routes between Hong Kong and Macao have ceased until further notice. While the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao bridge will remain open for some private vehicles between 0600 - 2200, only a limited number of vehicles with specific licenses are permitted to use the crossing.
The Macao government has announced that all travellers arriving in Macao, who are not residents of Macao, Hong Kong, Taiwan or mainland China, will be denied entry. Residents of Hong Kong, Taiwan or mainland China who have travelled overseas in the 14 days prior to their arrival will also be denied entry. Residents of Hong Kong, Taiwan or mainland China who have visited Hong Kong or Taiwan in the 14 days prior to entry will be subject to 14 days of medical surveillance in a designated centre. Macao residents who have been overseas or to Hong Kong or Taiwan in the 14 days prior to entry will be subject to 14 days of medical surveillance in a designated centre. For further information, see Macao travel advice.
There are reports of greater scrutiny from mainland authorities at border crossings between the mainland and Hong Kong and Macau at this time, including checks on travellers’ electronic devices. You should be aware that the thresholds for detention and prosecution in China differ from those in Hong Kong.
Bringing restricted items into Hong Kong
According to Hong Kong law, it’s illegal for visitors travelling to or transiting through Hong Kong International Airport to carry certain items including stun guns, objects with sharp points or edges (eg samurai swords) and martial arts equipment (eg knuckledusters). Offenders are liable to a severe fine or imprisonment. For a full list of restricted items, visit the website of the Hong Kong Police Force.
If you’re entering Hong Kong with e-cigarettes containing nicotine, you’ll need a medical prescription indicating that they’re for personal use. If the e-cigarette is nicotine-free and for personal use, no medical prescription is needed. For more information visit the Hong Kong Department of Health website.