Can domestic helpers from the Philippines and Indonesia travel to Hong Kong?
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On 26 August the bilateral agreements of the Hong Kong government and the governments of Indonesia and the Philippines on vaccination record recognition was announced. (gia.info.gov.hk, 26 Aug)
Starting 30 August 2021, domestic helpers who were fully vaccinated may enter from Indonesia and the Philippines, provided they fulfill the following requirements:
- Fully vaccinated: Received all required doses and has been 14-days since the final dose.*Unvaccinated workers are allowed to come to Hong Kong. However, they will not be eligible to get a provisional Vaccine Pass which means they will not be able to enter places that require mandatory vaccine pass checks.
- Validated vaccine records (See details below for separate requirements in the Philippines and Indonesia).
- A negative result proof of a rapid antigen test (RAT) conducted within 24 hours before the scheduled time of flight departure (certificate or photo for self-administered tests)
- Complete an online electronic health declaration of the Department of Health (DH) and obtain a green QR code before boarding their flights to Hong Kong (which can be completed within 72 hours before their scheduled arrival time in Hong Kong).
- Other usual requirements: a valid Hong Kong employment entry visa; passport; a valid medical certificate;
- Notarized original employment contract; a valid Philippine Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC).
Once the domestic helper has been fully vaccinated and “other usual requirements” have been fulfilled, the first step is to get fully vaccinated and have vaccination records verified. If the domestic helper has not yet been fully vaccinated, see below.
There are thousands of domestic helpers waiting in the Philippines and Indonesia. Their arrival will still take time as a number of limitations due to Covid-19 remain.
- Limited vaccine record validation appointment slots: In the past weeks, appointment slots at the Bureau of Quarantine for the ICV vaccine record validation were very limited. Some ICVs did not include passport details. The Philippines Government is further streamlining the process and will begin to include the passport details on 20 August 2021.
Vaccine Record Verification
Hong Kong Government’s recognized vaccination records: See HERE
In the Philippines, domestic helpers need to go to the Bureau of Quarantine to get an International Certificate of Verification (ICV) or “Yellow Card”.
- Link to book verification: https://icv.boq.ph/
- Instructions for Vaccination Record Verification in the Philippines: HERE (gia.info.gov.hk)
- For those in MANILA only:
- The BOQ has provided guidelines on how to expedite the appointment of ” Yellow Card” for domestic helpers departing within 7-10 days: You may click here for more information.
In Indonesia, domestic helpers need to go to the Pedulilindungi
- Link to book verification: https://pedulilindungi.id/
- Instructions for Vaccination Record Verification in Indonesia:HERE (gia.info.gov.hk)
After vaccination verification is secured, next arrange the Quarantine in Hong Kong,
Note: Starting from 12 August 2022, the arrangement of “recognised vaccination records” is no longer applicable. Relevant persons arriving at Hong Kong are only required to present vaccination record meeting the above requirements.
Arranging workers to arrive in Hong Kong
3-day Medical Surveillance Period (from 26 September, 2022)
From 26 September 2022, all foreign domestic helpers coming to work in Hong Kong may choose to undergo 3 -day medical surveillance period at home or stay in any licensed hotels and guesthouses, no compulsory quarantine will be required.
Points to note:
- The three days of medical surveillance will be followed by a four-day self-monitoring period, making it a 7-day observation period in total.
- Workers have to take RAT test daily and PCR tests on Day 2, Day 4 and Day 6 at a community testing centre or a mobile specimen collection station, or arrange a self-paid test by professional swab sampling at a local medical institution recognized by the Government.
- Employers may choose to arrange for their helpers to stay at licensed hotels or guesthouses that are not designated quarantine hotels to complete the 3-day medical surveillance period. Click here for the list of licensed hotels and guesthouses.
- During the medical surveillance period, workers can work at their employers’ residences and can go out after obtaining a negative result of a RAT on that day, but they will be subject to Amber Code restrictions under the Vaccine Pass and cannot enter high-risk premises involving mask-off or group activities.
- All passengers on Cebu Pacific flights to Hong Kong are required to take a free Antigen Test on the day of their flights starting from 17 September. (Click here for the latest advisory)
- All passengers on Philippines Airlines flights to Hong Kong are required to present a negative Antigen Test within 5 hours before the flight starting from 1 October until 15 October. The Antigen Test will be free of charge in PAL Gate 3 testing facility. (Click here for more information)
What if the domestic helper was vaccinated in a different country – not Hong Kong, Indonesia, or the Philippines?
The only vaccination records that Hong Kong recognizes are those from:
- Hong Kong,
- Mainland China,
- an institution recognised by Mainland or Macao authorities,
- a country with bilateral vaccination record recognition agreement with Hong Kong. Now including the Philippines and Indonesia, or
- a country where its national regulatory authority is designated by the World Health Organization as a stringent regulatory authority which are:
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
Not yet vaccinated?
All travelers from the Philippines and Indonesia and other Group A Countries are required to be fully vaccinated and hold recognized vaccination records.
- Get fully vaccinated with vaccination brands that are recognized by Hong Kong.
For domestic helpers in the Philippines, read: Can domestic helpers get vaccines in the Philippines before coming to Hong Kong? What is the COVID-19 situation there?
What are the requirements at the Airport and during the Medical Surveillance Period?
- There is a health declaration and testing at the Hong Kong airport.
- Workers will need to do a PCR test upon arrival in Hong Kong. They do not need to wait for the test result at the airport and can leave there by self-arranged transport, including public transportation. There will NOT be any government-arranged transportation to any hotels anymore.
- There is no more compulsory quarantine, only a 3-day medical surveillance period.
- If the results of the PCR-based nucleic acid test conducted on the third day is negative, the 3 -day medical surveillance period will end by 9 am on the fourth day.
- Workers need to conduct PCR test in a Community Testing Centre or a mobile specimen collection station or arrange a self-paid test by professional swab sampling at a local medical institution recognized by the Government on the 3th, 5th and 7th day of arrival at Hong Kong.
- Workers will need to do RAT daily until the 8th day of arrival at Hong Kong
- Read more about this here: COVID-19 Quarantine arrangements for domestic helpers arriving to Hong Kong from the Philippines and Indonesia
How about transiting to a lower-risk country to work around the flight suspension?
This is extremely risky for domestic helpers and should not be attempted. Read more: Can domestic helpers fly to different countries to work around travel and entry restrictions to Hong Kong?
You may also like
- Quick guide for Employers of Domestic Helpers
- Coronavirus updates affecting domestic helpers
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Last updated on September 25th, 2022