HKIA rent relief continues as SAR takes small steps to ease Covid restrictions

By Luke Barras-hill |

The government has moved to ease some Covid testing requirements for travellers that will take effect on 1 June. Source: HKIA.

Retail and F&B concession partners of Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) will continue to benefit from rental relief to the end of July, Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) has confirmed.

Most shops and restaurants have suspended business in the terminal as the aviation sector remains distressed from the prolonged impacts of Covid-19.

As per an announcement in March, base rents also continue to be waived for those businesses that remain open for essential services.

Other measures in place include a full waiver of parking charges for idle passenger aircraft and airbridge fees; reduction of passenger aircraft landing charges; and fee reductions related to ramp handling, maintenance and airside vehicles.

In addition, there are rental reductions for terminal tenants covering lounges and offices; fee waivers for terminal licensees including ancillary passenger services, commercial services counters and cross-border transport operators; and concessions on fees for aviation support services such as into-plane fuelling, aircraft maintenance and inflight catering services.

AA first introduced rent relief for its partners in February 2020 and has continued to do so since the pandemic.

The government has removed the requirement for transfer and transit passengers in Hong Kong to undergo a pre-departure PCR-based nucleic acid test within 48 hours of travel, effective 1 June.

TESTING MEASURES TO EASE IN JUNE

In a timely development, the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) announced yesterday (29 May) a ‘fine tuning’ of Covid-19 testing requirements for arrivals.

Effective 1 June (00:00am), inbound travelllers from overseas destinations will only be required to present a negative result of a PCR-based nucleic acid test conducted within 48 hours prior to the scheduled time of departure and are no longer obliged to provide documentary proof of the lab’s accreditation.

“The adjustments are made so as to reduce the impact on the journeys of persons coming to Hong Kong while continuing to firmly guard against the importation of cases,” read a statement seen by TRBusiness.

Twinning with this is a decision to scrap pre-departure PCR-based nucleic acid tests for travellers transferring or transiting in Hong Kong after the requirement was introduced in December to curb transmission of the Omicron variant.

The government has taken the step ‘as the epidemic situation around the world further stabilises, and prevention and control measures have been strengthened at HKIA to ensure the segregation of travellers transferring or transiting in Hong Kong to lower the risk of transmission of cases into the community’.

The statement added: “AAHK will continue to implement relevant prevention and control measures for transfer or transit passengers waiting for their connecting flights at the HKIA. The government will continue to implement the stringent quarantine and testing arrangements for inbound persons who will enter the community.”

Under current rules, all persons arriving in Hong Kong who have stayed in overseas places or Taiwan must undergo a PCR-based nucleic acid test on the twelve day of arrival, regardless of whether they have been discharged early from compulsory quarantine.

Those subject to compulsory quarantining in designated quarantine hotels are also now required to take a PCR-based nucleic acid test on the ninth fifth day of arrival, in addition to those take on the fifth day or arrival and twelve day (as above).

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