Abrupt changes in quarantine rules for entry into Hong Kong has thwarted travel plans and created chaos for designated quarantine hotels (DQHs).
Citing concerns about the more transmissible Delta variant, the Hong Kong government announced on August 17 that it would be imposing a 14-day quarantine minimum for all arrivals from medium-risk countries from August 20, scrapping a plan to shorten the period for those who test positive for Covid-19 antibodies.’
Additionally, it abruptly moved 15 additional countries to its high-risk category, including the US, France and the UAE. The quarantine period for vaccinated travellers arriving from those countries were extended from 14 to 21 days, while unvaccinated travellers who had been in any of those countries in the previous 21 days were barred from entering Hong Kong.
That policy U-turn has left DQHs like Ovolo Southside fielding hundreds of calls and emails from customers requesting for either an extension of their stay or a cancellation of their entire booking, said Sonesh Mooi, Ovolo Hotels’ operations manager.
Up until last week, the majority of the hotel’s guests were requesting to change their booking to before August 20.
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