Dear Members,

BSA has today been informed that from October 29, 2021 Hong Kong residents aged 12-17 will be able to return home if they have had a single dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine at least 14 days previously. This will also apply if they have had a single dose of other approved vaccines and are unable to have a further dose for health reasons. GOV.UK has updated the travel advice for Hong Kong as follows:

From October 29, proof of a single dose of the BioNTech vaccination will be accepted for 12-17 year-old Hong Kong residents travelling from the UK, or those unable to receive a second vaccination for health reasons. Accompanied minors who are Hong Kong residents or children of Hong Kong residents (who are below the age of 12) are also allowed to enter Hong Kong. All other persons from ‘high risk places’ will be denied entry to Hong Kong.

The requirements still include a PCR test before departure, 21 days of quarantine in a designated quarantine hotel and further testing afterwards. Full details of the requirements can be found on the relevant information page of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The Hong Kong documentation refers to Comirnaty vaccine, whereas the UK page refers to BioNTech. For clarity Comirnaty is now the registered trade name for the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine as administered in the UK and worldwide, as shown in a Pfizer press release from August.

BSA has been in regular contact on this issue with DfE and with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London, and we are grateful to both departments for bringing this to our attention. It remains likely, of course, that many Hong Kong boarders will remain in the UK at Christmas because of the quarantine requirement if they return home. Schools are urged to clarify arrangements as soon as possible.

For those returning to China there remain no direct flights from the UK, and there is also a 14-day hotel quarantine requirement. Some regions have additional testing regimens once the quarantine is over. China Airlines has up to date information regarding immigration requirements.

BSA is also monitoring entry requirements from other relevant countries and will include a full update in next week’s newsletter.

Best wishes,The BSA Team