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What happens if a domestic helper tests positive for COVID-19?

What happens if a domestic helper tests positive for COVID-19?

This is a developing situation. We will do our best to keep this information updated and ensure accuracy. Please check with the relevant organisations.

These are the general steps to be aware of should a domestic helper test positive for COVID-19:

  • If your helper has tested positive for COVID-19, you should ask your helper to stay at home and wait for further instruction. 
  • If your helper has tested positive using COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test, declare on this website here.
  • Your helper should stay at home and self-isolate, avoid human contact with other family members and wear a surgical mask at all times. Do not have meals together with people you are living with or share cutlery and utensils. All members in the household should wear a face mask and remain at home. It may take a few days to be sent to isolation or to the hospital.
  • If your helper develops severe symptoms while waiting at home (e.g. prolonged fever at 38 degrees Celsius or above, or signs such as shortness of breath, palpitations and chest pain) then you should call the ambulance to be admitted to hospital as quickly as possible. Avoid taking public transport to the hospital’s accident and emergency unit.
  • The Government announced on December 8 that starting from December 9, persons infected with COVID-19 may be discharged from isolation on Day 5 at the earliest if they obtain negative rapid antigen test (RAT) results on both Day 4 and Day 5 of the isolation period.
  • For close contacts of infected persons, they will be discharged from quarantine on Day 5 if negative results are obtained in all the daily RATs during the five-day quarantine period, and are not required to undergo further tests.
  • Please check the Centre for Health Protection website for the latest information.


Other important points to note:

  • The employment agency should be contacted for guidance and support. The employment agency is also required to report to the relevant Consulates, as the agency should be aware of the domestic helper’s welfare.
  • As the domestic helper will be under a working visa, she will have access to public health on an HK-resident rate. If the domestic helper has just arrived at HK airport, the working visa is automatically activated upon arrival.
  • The domestic helper will be considered fully recovered and fit-to-work upon the end of sick leave which is usually stated on her hospital discharge. She will be given the relevant medical documentation and instructions on any follow up medical appointments. In general, when a patient is fully recovered, COVID is no longer contagious and they will have antibodies.  
  • For a healthy relationship, employers should keep open-communication with their domestic helper on work and health situations.
  • Seek guidance from the Labour Department and/or agency if you are unsure about salary and sickness allowance payment. (See also: Are employers required to pay a domestic helper’s salary while they are unable to return to work?)
  • It is illegal to terminate a domestic worker for being tested COVID-19 positive. Employers should not terminate the contract for the reason that the domestic helper has tested positive for COVID-19. Read more here: The Hong Kong Government has advised this would be a violation of the Employment Ordinance and/or Disability Discrimination Ordinance.
  • Domestic workers under employment contract with a valid employment visa will have access to Hong Kong Public Health at a regular local Hong Kong resident rate.
  • The following domestic workers will be counted as a non-Hong Kong resident rate when accessing Hong Kong Public Health services:
    • Workers after termination 
    • Workers have stepped down in between jobs, waiting for next visa (= gap period)
  • Read more about Compulsory Testing and “StayHomeSafe” Scheme in our Get Answers article here.
  • We do our best to keep our articles up-to-date. Please double-check with the relevant organisations directly for the latest. 

Keep Testing and Vaccination Records with you

Domestic helpers may be asked by law enforcement or Labour Department officers to prove that they have done the compulsory COVID-19 testing. Domestic helpers should make sure to not delete and keep the SMS Text Message with the COVID-19 test result in case they are asked for it. For domestic helpers who have received both the COVID-19 vaccines before 16 May, and are exempted from testing, they should make sure to download and keep the vaccination records on their phones in case they are asked for this. The Labour Department conducted an inspection on 16 May at areas where many domestic helpers congregate on their rest day.

Need to Download your Testing or Vaccination Records?

Learn how to at:


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Last updated on December 13th, 2022