Indonesia, the Philippines, and the United States are included, but Singapore has not yet made the list.
With some of the toughest coronavirus rules in Asia, if not the world, Hong Kong has stopped even those with residency rights from returning in recent months. But its sizable diaspora can now look forward to something of a reprieve. From midnight tonight, the territory’s government will recognize Covid-19 vaccination records from 46 countries and territories, allowing inoculated Hong Kongers living in nearly a dozen high-risk countries (such as the United Kingdom and United States) to board flights home. The move also paves the way for an eventual resumption of international travel: being fully vaccinated is a requirement for non-residents entering from medium-risk countries, while travelers from low-risk places who have received their jabs will see their mandatory quarantine period halved from 14 to seven days.
Previously, health officials only recognized vaccination records issued by authorities in Hong Kong, Mainland China, or Macau, as well as countries whose national regulatory authorities are deemed “stringent” by the WHO. But given Hong Kong society’s dependence on live-in domestic workers from Indonesia and the Philippines, the territory has since reached an agreement with the two Southeast Asian countries to accept their vaccine records. Eligible travelers coming in from Indonesia must present an official letter from the Indonesian health ministry, penned in English, to certify that the traveler has been fully inoculated. Similarly, arrivals from the Philippines will need to carry a written confirmation of their vaccination status from the Bureau of Quarantine.
The Hong Kong government has also chosen to recognize the E.U. Digital Covid Certificate System. Based on the bloc’s recent announcement conferring equivalent status for vaccination records issued in five non-member states — North Macedonia, San Marino, Turkey, Ukraine, and the Vatican City — they will also be recognized by Hong Kong from September 1. But the new list has some notable omissions: for now, local health authorities do not accept vaccine records from Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and New Zealand.
Here is the full list of places whose vaccination records are recognized by Hong Kong: