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Where To Get A Coronavirus Test In Hong Kong And Other FAQs

Child getting a coronavirus test in Hong Kong
Health & WellnessPost Category - Health & WellnessHealth & Wellness - Post Category - WellnessWellness

Even with vaccinations, testing for COVID-19 matters. Here’s what you need to know about Coronavirus testing in Hong Kong.

There are a million places we’d love to be to escape the doldrums of life but when it comes to riding out a global pandemic, there’s no place like the 852. To give you a little perspective, New York, has a comparable population of 8.4 million – it has recorded a whopping 1.8 million COVID-19 cases with nearly 50,000 deaths to date. Approximately 11,400 out of Hong Kong’s 7.5 million residents have been infected till now, 204 lost their lives to the disease. The stark disparity is all credit to our mask-wearing habits topped with the stringent government policy of coronavirus testing, tracing and isolating.

Even though vaccinations are picking up the pace here, the massive COVID-19 testing requirements aren’t going away anytime soon. We need them, even more so now with the vaccination drive, to see which way the pandemic is headed and to nip any future clusters in the bud.

We’ve seen how social distancing and masks have previously helped Hong Kong return to near-normalcy when most of the world was grappling with the uncertainty of a lockdown. But the coronavirus is still here for now. With this in mind, we take a look at some frequently asked coronavirus questions and offer a guide to COVID-19 testing in Hong Kong.

Jump to: 
Types Of Coronavirus Tests in Hong Kong
Who Should Get Tested For COVID-19?
My Apartment Falls Under Compulsory Testing – Now What?
I Need a Mandatory COVID-19 Test Done For Work – Where Can I Go?
Antibody COVID-19 Test: What Does A Positive Mean?
Can I Assume That The Presence Of Antibodies Means Immunity?
Where To Get A COVID-19 Test In Hong Kong: Public Hospitals
Private Hospitals Offering COVID-19 Tests In Hong Kong
Private Clinics Offering COVID-19 Tests In Hong Kong

Editor’s note: In the wake of rising coronavirus cases in Hong Kong, the Centre for Health Protection has set up a hotline for any public queries on COVID-19 2125 1122. See their dedicated page for the most detailed and up-to-date information about the situation in HKSAR.

The situation in Hong Kong regarding closures and restrictions due to the coronavirus is constantly evolving. Many hospitals and clinics are taking extra precautions, but please make sure you follow the latest government advice and stay home if you have recently travelled overseas, have interacted with anyone who has been away, or display any symptoms. Be sure to contact the medical facility in advance prior to booking or attending in-house tests.

Read more: COVID-19 Vaccines In Hong Kong: Your Questions Answered

coronavirus tests in Hong Kong face mask

Types Of Coronavirus Tests in Hong Kong

There are two broad types of COVID-19 tests in Hong Kong:

  • The antigen test (that looks for active SARS-COV-2 virus in your body)
  • And the antibody test (that will confirm if you’ve been previously exposed to the virus and developed an immune response towards it)

There are three kinds of antigen coronavirus tests on offer now, each with a different sensitivity:

Sassy Mama number peach 1The PCR test (polymerase chain reaction) is the gold standard in COVID-19 testing and the only valid test to show if you are COVID positive or COVID free. It is the most common test in Hong Kong, the one in which deep throat or nasal swabs are taken, dipped in nucleic acid and then analysed in a lab for the presence of coronavirus.

This PCR test is on offer at Asia World-Expo for all arrivals in the city at the moment. And before you make a mental note that this is the stab-in-the-brain test – no, it’s not. My 1-year-old took it without a fuss.

Sassy Mama number peach 2A blood test to analyse for the SARS-COV-2 virus and if there are antibodies present, mostly done by private clinics or hospitals to confirm the initial PCR test.

Sassy Mama number peach 3Lastly, the home testing kits are also available (such as the deep throat saliva test by Project Screen by Circle or the finger a prick test available at places like The Life Hub) to know your COVID-status. You can even get home testing COVID-19 kits at Mannings. Unfortunately, these tests aren’t standardised and can have poor accuracy rates.

Hospitals will need a second and often a third test to reconfirm the results of the home kits. But hey, if that itch in the throat is causing you sleepless nights, at least these tests are an easy option. 

Who Should Get Tested For COVID-19?

International arrivals, those notified for mandatory tests by the government, those in a profession which requires fortnightly tests for safety, close contacts of COVID-19 positive people or feeling a bit-off (dry cough, a nagging pain, temperature). Contact a doctor if you have any symptoms, one of the private clinics which are authorised to conduct COVID-19 tests or the CHP hotline as soon as you can. Reveal your travel history and exact symptoms, then allow them to guide you on the protocol.

My Apartment Falls Under Compulsory Testing – Now What?

Don’t panic. Overnight mandatory testing orders to contain the waves of COVID-19 outbreak have become a norm in Hong Kong. Even if you haven’t seen anyone outside of your social bubble and been leery of crowds all this while, a mandatory testing order naturally injects you with some level of anxiety.

So here’s what to do – if your apartment is in an ambush-style lockdown, authorities will guide you to an immediate overnight testing booth. Take with you:

Sassy Mama number peach 1Hong Kong ID of all adults,

Sassy Mama number peach 2A copy of the birth certificate, passport and visa details for your children.

Medical staff at the booth are fuss-free, friendly folks – a physical copy of your documents or just a photo on your phone, everything works as long as they can see the HKID/passport number.

For kids above the age of six and adults, mouth and nose swabs are taken on the spot by trained paramedics. Mamas, nobody likes their nasal pathway probed, but the test is not painful, just uncomfortable. Blink and it’s over! Children younger than six are subjected to a stool test. You can collect the sample at home and drop it at the earliest in the collection point at the booth. These tests are free of charge for all Hong Kong residents.

As with everything else in the SAR, the whole system is extremely well-oiled and efficient. Within a couple of hours, you’ll be notified of results via sms.

The other type of mandatory testing order comes into play when a positive case is found in your condo or two/more are detected at the workplace. Here, the government sets a time-frame, usually two-to-three days, for every single member who has lived in/worked at or visited the said premises for more than two hours, to get a COVID-19 PCR test done. The testing protocol is pretty much the same as an ambush-style lockdown – the only difference is you’re not under a curfew so free to move about and get tested at any convenient location.

The easiest is to walk-in (with the documents mentioned above) to the nearest mobile-specimen collection centre, register your address, family details and get your nose and throat tickled! Kids’ poop sample boxes can be collected and dropped at the nearest public hospital (they can’t be deposited at the testing booth in this case).

Results are notified via SMS in around 24-hours and there’s a link to download the report as well if you need it for school or work purposes.

Read more: Expert Advice: How Will Social Distancing Affect My Child?

COVID-19 test in Hong Kong

I Need a Mandatory COVID-19 Test Done For Work – Where Can I Go?

Restaurant staff, airline crew, teachers and several others are mandated by the government to take fortnightly tests. If your school or company is not arranging for in-house testing, it can become a logistical dread to figure things out every now and then. Here are your options:

  • CHP has set up 22-mobile specimen collection spots throughout Hong Kong. Find a booth nearest to home and get the test. Even though the reports can be downloaded, they’re basic and will work for official purposes but not for the aircrew or travel. Airlines need a more thorough COVID-19 clearance certificate which can be availed at any private clinic or a designated government testing centre.
  • 20 MTR stations, 47 public out-patient clinics and nearly all post-offices have set up vending machines to give specimen packs – no awkward swabbing involved here, mamas! Cough up the morning mucus, first thing after waking up, seal the lid and send it to the lab for analysis.
  • Make an appointment at the nearest community testing centre. For a fee of $240, you can get fast-track results and negative-certification valid for travel and work purposes.
  • Private clinics or laboratories authorised to carry out a PCR test.

Antibody COVID-19 Test: What Does A Positive Mean?

Having antibodies means that you’ve already been exposed to this disease and your body remembers the attack like it has left some sort of footprints; it has developed some level of immune response and will recognise the virus if you’re exposed again.

Can I Assume That The Presence Of Antibodies Means Immunity?

That’s the tricky part – right now scientists are using the antibody test to understand how much asymptomatic or mild transmission of the virus has already happened. Since this is a novel virus shrouded in uncertainty, scientists still do not have all the answers about its behaviour.

If you catch the regular flu, you develop immunity against that strain for a good seven to eight months. A small-scale study on COVID-positive people found that natural immunity lasted for eight months, but it was done only on 200 people – too small a figure to form global generalisations. So the big question is, if you’re re-exposed to the virus for the second time, will your body send out the Navy SEALs and fight them hard or succumb to the attack? Sadly, more than a year into the pandemic and we still don’t have a definitive answer.

It is hoped that most of us will develop long-lasting immunity against this strain of coronavirus at some point in the future, but there’s no confirmation of this yet. After the 2001 SARS attack, nearly 10% of people had immunity against the virus even after six years of getting infected.

Read more: Where To Donate Blood In Hong Kong

Person washing hands because of coronavirus

Where To Get A COVID-19 Test In Hong Kong: Public Hospitals

The 43 public hospitals of Hong Kong are doing a phenomenal job of coronavirus testing round the clock, but even if you have symptoms you need a referral letter from a doctor to plug in for a test over here. You will need to pay the consultation fee ($180) and then the doctor will determine if you need to have a test based on possible symptoms, travel or exposure history. If you do need to have the test, it’ll be a nasal swab and it will be free of charge. Note that if you are COVID-19 free, they won’t issue a certificate to declare this.

Private Hospitals Offering COVID-19 Tests In Hong Kong

Below are the private hospitals are carrying out the COVID-19 tests in the outpatient departments (offering PCR and/or antibody tests) – note that suspected or high-risk individuals may be referred to a public hospital and if you are deemed a “high risk” patient you may not be able to get your test done here. As there are limited tests per-day, make sure to call the clinic or hospital for an appointment before walking in for a test.

The Matilda International Hospital

COVID-19 test package: $2,000
Result time: 48 hours
Information: Prior appointment required, coronavirus tests are done only in the first half of the day

The Matilda International Hospital, 41 Mount Kellett Road, The Peak, Hong Kong, 2849 0321, [email protected], www.matilda.org

Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital (HKSH)

COVID-19 test package: $700 to $800 (limited quota)
Result time: Same day for sample submission before 9:30am
Information: Prior appointment required, tests are done until 5pm, except Sundays

Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital, 2 Village Road, Happy Valley, Hong Kong, 2572 0211[email protected]www.hksh-hospital.com

Gleneagles Hospital

COVID-19 test package: $1,200 and up
Result time: Next working day
Information: Prior appointment required via the website, tests are done Monday to Saturday

Gleneagles Hospital, 1 Nam Fung Path, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, 2122 1333, [email protected], www.gleneagles.hk

Canossa Hospital (Caritas)

COVID-19 test package: $1,300 to $1,610
Result time: 8 hours
Information: Prior appointment required by calling the booking hotline (5544 9183), tests are done Monday to Saturday, samples dropped off by 2pm will have results by 12pm the next day

Canossa Hospital (Caritas), 1 Old Peak Road, Hong Kong, 2522 2181, [email protected], www.canossahospital.org.hk

Hong Kong Adventist Hospital, Stubbs Road

COVID-19 test package: $1,000 to $1,470 (excluding consultant fee)
Result time: Next working day
Information: Prior appointment required, tests are done Monday to Sunday, and the hospital is only accepting bookings from existing patients

Hong Kong Adventist Hospital, 40 Stubbs Road, Hong Kong, 3651 8888, [email protected], www.hkah.org.hk

Hong Kong Adventist Hospital, Tsuen Wan

Covid-19 test package: $1,000 to $1,470 (excluding consultant fee)
Result time: Depending on the time the test is taken, results can be given on the same day or the next working day
Information: Prior appointment is required as daily tests are limited

Adventis Hospital Tsuen Wan, 199 Tsuen King Circuit, Tsuen Wan, New Territories, Hong Kong, 2275 6888, www.twah.org.hk

Union Hospital

COVID-19 test packages: $1,000 (excluding consultation fee)
Result time: Results in 4 hours at the earliest
Information: Booking is required as they have a limited daily quota on a first-come-first-served basis. It’s only accepting those with a fever, acute respiratory or pneumonia symptoms, or those who might be asymptomatic but are suspected of infection.

Union Hospital, 18 Fu Kin Street, Tai Wai, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong, 2608 3388, [email protected], www.union.org

Hong Kong Baptist Hospital 

COVID-19 test package: $1,080 to $1,500
Result time: 8 to 24 hours
Information: Prior appointment required, tests are done Monday to Saturday

Hong Kong Baptist Hospital, 222 Waterloo Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2339 5394, [email protected], www.hkbh.org.hk

Read more: Expert Advice: How To Talk To Kids About Diseases

Not today COVID-19 sign on orange background

Private Clinics Offering COVID-19 Tests In Hong Kong

London Medical Clinic

COVID-19 test package: $900 to $1,000
Result time: 24 hours to 48 hours, fast-track results available with an additional fee of $400
Information: Walk-in appointments not available but you can book an initial phone consultation prior to the test (payment in advance)

London Medical Clinic, 9/F, 1, Duddell Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2537 6898, [email protected], www.thelondonmedicalclinic.com 

LifeHub

COVID-19 test package: Saliva test (no certificate) $880, with certificate $1,580; Rapid self-test $280 (finger prick for antibodies)
Result time: Saliva test: 2 working days; Rapid self-test: 15 minutes
Information: Can pick up coronavirus tests directly at the clinic (not to test in the clinic) or deliver to your door, Monday to Friday

LifeHub, 1/F, The Loop, 33 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, 3622 3452, WhatsApp: 6115 2094, [email protected], www.thelifehub.com

OT&P

COVID-19 test package: $1,000 to $1,400
Result time: 2 working days
Information: You’ll get two phone consultations (one prior and post the test), the test can be collected and dropped off at the clinic or a GoGo Van service can be arranged for an additional charge. You’ll get an email of the test report and a doctors certificate on request included in the fee

OT&P, 5/F, Century Square, 1 D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2155 9055, [email protected], www.otandp.com

Island Health

COVID-19 test package: $1,940 (includes consultation fees)
Result time: 24 to 48 hours, fast-track results available with an additional fee of $300
Information: If you have any symptoms or have been in contact with someone then consultations will be by telephone. For no symptoms, and if the test is for travel purposes then you can have an appointment at the clinic

Island Health, Shop 109A, Discovery Bay Plaza, Discovery Bay, Hong Kong, 2987 7575, [email protected], www.islandhealth.com.hk

Central Health Medical Practice

COVID-19 test package: $2,250
Result time: PCR, 2 to 3 working days; Blood test, 24 hours
Information: Contact the clinic to book, you can get a letter from your doctor with the coronavirus test results should you need it

Central Health Medical Practice, 3rd Floor, Baskerville House, 13 Duddell Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2824 0822, [email protected], www.centralhealth.com.hk

Quality Healthcare Medical Centre

COVID-19 test package: $680 to $1,380
Result time: From same-day on
Information: Suitable for those who are asymptomatic but at risk

Quality Healthcare Medical Centre, Tower 1, 16/F, Admiralty Centre, 18 Harcourt Road, Central, Hong Kong, 8301 8301, www.qhms.com

Trinity Medical Centre

COVID-19 test package: $650 to $1,475
Result time: 1 to 4 working days
Information: Online bookings only, test kits will be sent directly to you with delivery possibly up to 11:30pm due to high demand

Trinity Medical Centre, 1501-2A, Tower 5, 33 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Shui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2197 0122, [email protected], www.trinitymedical.com.hk

Emergency Medicine Centre

COVID-19 test package: $1,990
Result time: 2 to 3 working days
Information: Send your information to the team via WhatsApp and then you’ll have a phone consultation with a doctor, the coronavirus test will then be delivered to your door and collected via a driver who’ll take them directly to the lab. You will receive an email with the results from the doctor

Emergency Medicine Centre, 704, Manning House, 38, Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2889 6999, [email protected], www.emchk.com 

Evercare

COVID-19 test package: $2,200 per person
Result time: 24 to 48 hours
Information: The at-home team of private nurses and caregivers at Evercare can also offer a COVID-19 test in the comfort of your own space. Simply fill in the online form then a member of the team will contact you to verify the information before you pay. A nurse will then be scheduled to come to your home to prepare for and do the test. You’ll do a nasal and throat swab and get the results via email within 24-48 hours. It also does large-scale on-site COVID-19 testing.

Evercare, 3905 4000, WhatsApp: 6114 4595, [email protected], www.yourevercare.com

Read more: Where To Get Women’s And Family Health Checks In Hong Kong

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in July 2020 and updated by Nikita Mishra in March 2021.

Featured image courtesy of Getty Images, image 1 courtesy of Anna Shvets via Pexels, image 2 courtesy of Emin BAYCAN on Unsplash, image 3 courtesy of Burst via Pixels, image 4 courtesy of cottonbro via Pexels.

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