What is the change? 
The Hong Kong Department of Health has implemented mandatory quarantine for travelers from Iran and parts of Italy.

What does the change mean? Upon arrival in Hong Kong, travelers who have been in Iran, or any of three regions in Italy (Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna) in the past 14 days will be placed in a quarantine center. The quarantine requirement applies to all travelers who have been in Iran and the Italian regions, including residents of Hong Kong. The quarantine duration was not specified, but quarantine for travelers to Hong Kong from parts of South Korea and mainland China is 14 days.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing from March 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: Any visa used for inbound travel from the specified locations.
  • Who is affected: All travelers from Iran and Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna in Italy.
  • Business impact: The quarantine will affect all forms of travel from Iran and the three Italian regions, including travel for business.
  • Next steps: The quarantine is in force until further notice. Employers should expect that any of their employees who are in Iran or the affected Italian regions will be placed under quarantine if they enter Hong Kong.

Background: The new Hong Kong quarantine measure was implemented to halt the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Prior to announcing the measure, on Feb. 28, the Hong Kong government issued outbound travel alerts for both Iran and the same three regions in Italy. The alerts stated that travel to these areas constitutes a significant threat and that travelers from Hong Kong should adjust travel plans and avoid non-essential travel. According to a Center for Health Protection document, Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna are the three Italian regions with the largest number of COVID-19 virus cases. Iran has also recently experienced a surge in the number of cases, including some fatalities.

Analysis & Comments:
The quarantine measure for travelers from Iran and Italy is Hong Kong’s latest effort to halt the spread of COVID-19.Those planning travel to Hong Kong from Iran and the affected Italian regions may wish to reconsider their plans. The response to the COVID-19 outbreak continues to develop, and Deloitte will provide additional updates as information becomes available.

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