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13 February 2020 | by LexisNexis Hong Kong

On 5 February 2020, the Chief Executive announced that the Hong Kong Government would impose a 14-day mandatory quarantine upon arrival on all travellers entering Hong Kong from the People’s Republic of China (the “PRC”) including Hong Kong residents, starting from 8 February 2020. This announcement was made in response to the escalating situation regarding the novel coronavirus infection in Hong Kong.

The regulation would be made pursuant to the powers conferred by section 8(1) of the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance (“the Ordinance”). Under this provision, the Chief Executive in Council is conferred general power to make regulations for the purposes of preventing, combating or alleviating the effects of the public health emergency and protecting public health on any occasion she considers to be a public health emergency.

Section 8(3) of the Ordinance provides further guidelines for measures that the regulation may cover, including:

  • requirements on a person to disclose or furnish any information that is relevant to the handling of a state of public health emergency;
  • the disclosure to the public by a public officer of any information that is relevant to the handling of a state of public health emergency;
  • the requisitioning of property and matters relating to compensation for such requisition;
  • matters relating to the appointment of any person to act as a medical and health professional, the control of such appointed person, and the deeming of such appointed person to be registered under any enactment; and
  • such incidental and supplementary matters as appear to the Chief Executive in Council to be necessary or expedient for the purposes of the regulation.

As mandatory quarantine is not a measure specifically covered by paragraphs(a) to (d), the proposed mandatory quarantine measure may be said to fall under paragraph(e) as a necessary or expedient supplementary matter. Notwithstanding the guidelines, section 8(3) does not purport to limit the generality of the powers conferred by the Ordinance.

For more information, please see:

The Annotated Ordinances of Hong Kong: Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance (Cap 599)

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The Lexis Insights articles are provided for reference purposes only and are not intended, nor should they be used, as a substitute for professional advice or judgment or to provide legal advice with respect to specific circumstances. If you require any legal advice or other expert assistance, please consult a competent professional adviser.

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