Facing a quarantine can be very stressful whether if it is due to travel, being identified as a close contact or if you are diagnosed with COVID-19. It can be helpful to have a list in case you find yourself in need to suddenly pack your bags and quarantine.
This list of items is what we recommend and have been consolidated from many of our staff's very own experience in quarantine. We have broken down this blog into three different sections to address the different types of quarantines that you can potentially face in Hong Kong. Here is the list of items that you should prepare regardless of whether you are going into a government quarantine facility, a hotel quarantine or a hospital quarantine.
- Your HKID, passport or any identification document
- If you are vaccinated, your vaccination certificate
- Chargers and cables for your electronic devices
- Pocket Wi-Fi (a device preloaded with a 4G SIM card to work as your internet)
- Extension leads
- Kitchen roll, Tupperware containers, plastic food bags
- Salt & pepper, your choice of condiments (ketchup, grained mustard, relish, pickles etc)
- Plates, cups and utensils
- Tray, small chopping board, a sharp knife, scissors, tin opener, cutlery and crockery
- Washing up bowl, scourer, dishwashing liquid and tea towels
- Crackers, biscuits, dry food, canned food (fish or vegetables for simplicity) and dehydrated meals (instant cup noodles, porridges, etc)
- Tea and/or instant coffee
- Washing powder, laundry bags, metal coat hangers and pegs
- Dettol/anti-bacterial wipes for cleaning
- Room sprays
- Books, magazines, yoga mat and any of your source of entertainments
- Laptop and headphones
- Your favourite bottle of wine or alcohol (this is technically not allowed, but they don’t check your check-in bags)
- Loose clothing and underwears. Gym wear for exercise.
- Home slippers
- Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, facial wash, etc)
- Additional body bath towels
- Thermometer, basic medicines and supplements
- Any electrical appliances if you have the capacity: water kettle, toasters, rice cooker, microwave etc
Quarantining in a hotel is more forgiving and allows for flexibility in comparison to the other forms of quarantines in Hong Kong. It will be easier to order deliveries and other goods to be delivered to your room for one thing. You will also have access to the hotel’s Wi-Fi (though the quality of the connection varies from hotel to hotel) and the hotel’s mini-fridge.
If you are quarantining in a hotel, here are some extras items you can consider to improve your stay:
- HDMI cable (allows linking your laptop or any entertainment device to the hotel TV)
- If your hotel room is large enough, you can consider additional gym equipment like treadmills and stationary bikes in addition to your own home gym equipment such as skipping ropes and resistance bands. There is a dedicated Facebook group that will sometimes trade these types of equipment for people in quarantine.
One of our doctors recently wrote about his experience in a hotel quarantine and what he recommends to improve the experience from a health perspective.
Government Quarantine Facility
If you are considered to be a close contact of a suspected COVID-19 case or are considered to be part of a cluster, you will be asked to go to one of the Hong Kong Government's quarantine facilities. Hong Kong currently has four of them:
- Lei Yue Mun Park and Holiday Village
- Penny’s Bay Quarantine Camp
- Silka Tsuen Wan
- Dorsett Kwun Tong
Due to capacity issue, you will very likely end up in Penny’s Bay Quarantine Camp, which is where almost 75% of the quarantine rooms are. Gira Patel, our Mental Health Counsellor, recently wrote an article here detailing her experience in government quarantine.
Something that is very important to note is that the experience of quarantining in a government facility is very different from quarantining in a hotel. These are the key points to note in your preparation:
- No fridge facilities
- No Wi-Fi
- Delivery is monitored and verified by onsite staff before being delivered. This process is not immediate.
As a result, preparing a pocket Wi-Fi and bringing enough dried or canned food can be crucial if you are a picky eater.
In the unfortunate scenario that you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are presenting symptoms, they will bring you to Princess Margaret Hospital or North Lantau Hospital depending on your severity. If you are considered to be asymptomatic, they will bring you to the AsiaWorld Expo Field Hospital. While delivery is possible, it is limited and can be even impossible for the hospitals in North Lantau and AsiaWorld Expo. In the case of AsiaWorld Expo, there's also no shops or restaurants nearby.
During this period, make sure to bring all your identification documents and consider bringing these extra items to make your stay easier:
- Eye masks/shades (the room will never be completely dark as patrolling nurses and doctors need to see you)
- Foam earplugs (you will share a room with other COVID-19 patients)
Additionally, please be aware you will only be given one cabinet to store your personal belongings.