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Hong Kong Home Quarantine: A Survival Guide

At the time of upload, those who test positive for COVID-19 (and their close contacts) in Hong Kong must self isolate. There are currently other restrictions in areas such as education, and hospitality and leisure. For more up to date information you can see the government policies here.

Although quarantine for arrivals into Hong Kong has been lifted after over 2 years, self-isolation is not over yet. Chatteris’ own Lauren Jackson gives us her top tips for surviving home quarantine, something she is more than familiar with.

If you’ve ended up on this article you are probably either curious as to the current quarantine situation here in Hong Kong, or, have to undergo the dreaded quarantine period and are frantically looking for information or first-hand experiences. As you may (or may not) know, here in Hong Kong if you test positive for COVID-19 via a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) you are required by the government to undergo a 7 day isolation period (as of October 2022). In this article you’ll be getting a play-by-play on getting through it, all based on 3 whole weeks of personal experience.

Disclaimer: This is my own personal experience with having the virus and what worked for me. Of course, please bear in mind that different things will work for different people.

The 7 Days of Quarantine

Day one. This was the most difficult, both as someone positive with covid and as a close contact to someone who was.  

I’d recommend having something to preoccupy your time, be that a book, TV series, or puzzle to submerge yourself in to keep busy. Alternatively, if staying inside a flat is your bugbear, a home workout/yoga session is a great way to get those endorphins flowing!

Chatteris English Tutors enjoy a movie night during home isolation
Movie nights are a great way to pass the time in isolation | Image by Lauren Jackson

For those of you who may be infected, be sure to keep your fluid intake up. By this, I mean drink plenty of water or something with ions and nutrients to help your body fight the virus. You may be fighting a fever and possibly a runny nose (this is what I struggled with most) so will need all the help you can get. 

Day two. Congratulations! You’ve made it through the first day, and hopefully you haven’t managed to binge watch all of your content/distractions already. Try to take some time away from your screens (when possible) to remove this urge to binge watch, and give your eyes a rest.

For those testing positive, things may be slightly better and hopefully the fever is somewhat subsiding. For myself personally, this is the day a chesty cough settled in as a result of all of the mucus from the runny nose. Paracetamol and lots of water on this day was a must! 

I hope the cabin-fever isn’t hitting you too hard. Try to dedicate an hour or two everyday where you are doing something to mentally stimulate yourself. Be this by reading a book, playing a board/card game etc.

Day three. Another day down!

For those infected, there should hopefully you have more energy and feel less like the walking dead. With the minor exception of some head-cold symptoms setting in, in my case, most of the other symptoms were somewhat minimised from this point onwards.

Chatteris English Tutors enjoying puzzles during home isolation
Try puzzles to stay away from screens | Image by Lauren Jackson

Day four. Happy hump day! You are so close to freedom, keep up the avoidance techniques. I personally found this to be the beginning of the end in terms of the aforementioned symptoms. Nevertheless, day four was when I noticed that my taste had almost completely disappeared. As a self-proclaimed foodie, this was the most upsetting symptom of the virus. 


Days five, six, and seven. These three days have been grouped together as there were no significant changes to myself or the symptoms during this time. Think of these days as a waiting period to hopefully be able to test negative on days 6 & 7, and for the long awaited freedom day! 

Top tips:

  • Make sure you are up-to-date on the HK government requirements for the quarantine (for both positive cases and close-contacts).
    • IMPORTANT; when reporting a positive RAT test on a form, make sure you input any and all flatmates details as once submitted you cannot amend these (I learnt this the hard way).
  • Stock up on tissues.
  • Boil water in a kettle and let it cool to have drinkable water (if you don’t want to spend money on bottled water).
  • Deliveroo/Food Panda groceries will be your best friends when you run out of fresh fruit/veg (or just snacks in general).
  • Lastly the 2 P’s, Pocari Sweat and Paracetamol. These helped greatly on the first couple of days of quarantine days, especially with the fever.

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