COVID-19 Tests in Hong Kong: Where to Go? (UPDATED)

There is currently an explosion of information, comments and opinions on COVID-19 on the internet and social media. We believe that on serious topics in general, and on public health matters in particular, it is essential to rely on facts and seek credible, expert information. Our mission at AD MediLink remains to bring you the best information and advice, so you can make the best choices for you and your family.

 


 

Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Hong Kong? How much does it cost?

The AD MediLink team has done all the research and kept it up-to-date, so you don’t have to. Stay safe and healthy.

For a full guide about COVID-19 testing in Chinese, read here.

中文版的香港新冠病毒檢測服務一覽表請按此

 

IMPORTANT: We do not provide any COVID-19 tests. If you want to get tested, please contact the COVID-19 testing provider of your choice: their phone numbers and websites are listed below. This guide does not aim to be exhaustive. It is informative only and based on our independent research. No hospital, clinic or company paid any fees or rendered any services in exchange of inclusion in this article. The providers are listed in alphabetical order and do not indicate any preference.

 

When should I get tested?

It is recommended you get tested if you develop any major COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, tiredness, dry cough.

Other minor symptoms to watch out for include shortness of breath, aches, sore throat, diarrhea, nausea and a runny nose.

You should also consider getting tested if you have been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case.

Important: All passengers arriving from very high-risk countries (i.e. Bangladesh, Belgium, Ecuador, Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine, the UK and the US) need to get tested before their flight and show a certificate before boarding.

 

COVID Testing for domestic helpers in Hong Kong

On April 30, the government ordered all foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong to undergo a mandatory COVID test before May 9, following cases of an untraceable mutant strain. Those who had been fully vaccinated 14 days ago or were tested on April 30 can be exempted from the test.

The authorities published another compulsory testing notice ordering all foreign domestic helpers to take the COVID-19 nucleic acid test for the second time from May 15 to May 30. Domestic helpers may book a testing slot at any of the community testing centers or mobile specimen collection stations in advance to avoid long waiting time. Same as the first round, those who have been fully vaccinated can be exempted from the test.

 

New Government Testing Scheme for COVID-19

On November 3, the government announced that Hong Kong citizens who need to prove their health status could sign up for COVID-19 screening at a cost of HK$240 at government Community Testing Centers. Testing service is also available to persons under compulsory testing and persons in certain targeted groups for free. The scheme has been launched and you can click here for booking an appointment.

The Hospital Authority (HA) provides specimen collection packs and collect specimens through its 47 general out-patient clinics (GOPCs).  Since 28 November 2020, the Government also extends the distribution points for specimen collection packs to the 121 post offices (except mobile post offices).

In addition, the MTR Corporation has set up vending machines at 20 MTR stations for the public to collect COVID-19 specimen collection packs, including Ngau Tau Kok, Kwai Fong, North Point, Tiu Keng Leng, Wong Chuk Hang, Tai Wai, Tai Po Market, Siu Hong, Kowloon, Tsing Yi, Shau Kei Wan, Wan Chai, Sai Ying Pun, Ho Man Tin, Prince Edward, Kai Tak, Wu Kai Sha, Tsuen Wan West, Sheung Shui and Tung Chung stations.

When needed, mobile specimen collection stations may be set up specifically for persons under compulsory testing or in targeted groups.

 

Which COVID-19 tests are available in Hong Kong?

Two types of COVID-19 tests are available:

– Antigen test (PCR), which detects the presence of COVID-19 in the body. It is a DNA test (also known as PCR) done by swabbing for lower respiratory tract specimens through the nose (also known as an NPS swab) or throat and analysed in a lab (the CDC recommends the nose swab for more accurate results).

– Antibody test, which is a blood test looking for evidence of an immunity response to the virus, which suggests current (IGM) or previous (IGG) infection to COVID-19. The blood test is performed in a clinic or hospital and analysed in a lab. A finger prick blood test is also available to do yourself from home.*

*It is important to note that this at-home test cannot be used as the sole basis for diagnosis and that further testing will be required in the event of a positive result.

 

How does COVID-19 testing work?

For the swab (i.e. the DNA test), laboratories compare the genetic material obtained with the genetic code of the virus this test is also known as a PCR test. Results for swab tests will usually take a couple of days but some places offer next day results. This is the golden standard in Hong Kong as it has a high sensitivity and over 97% accuracy.

As for blood tests, the blood will be tested for antibodies fighting COVID-19. Blood tests done in clinics or hospitals can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days but the at-home finger prick tests only take 15 minutes.

The finger prick test (or antibody test) has been neither validated nor standardised and has a high incidence of false positive results when the patient exhibits no symptoms.

For this reason, the DNA test (or PCR test) is the only valid test accepted to prove you are COVID-free.

For the latest news about COVID-19, read our daily update.

 

Need health insurance?

 

Coronavirus testing in public hospitals

There are 43 public hospitals in Hong Kong. To get tested in a public hospital, you will first need to see a doctor at that hospital for a consultation. The consultation fee for public hospitals is HKD180. The doctor you see will determine your eligibility for a test (depending on your symptoms, travel history and any close contact with people who tested positive for COVID-19).

If it is determined that you are eligible, a nasal swab test will be done: this test is free. You will only have to pay HKD180 for the doctor consultation.

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) has set up a hotline for any public enquiry about COVID-19: +852 2125 1122. The Hong Kong government has also set up a page with all of the latest local developments.

IMPORTANT: Tests done in the public sector will not carry a health certificate declaring you free of COVID-19 unless you sign up for the New Government Testing Scheme.

 


DISCOVER OUR TOP READS

1. Daily COVID-19 News & Cases (updated in REAL-TIME)

2. Quarantine Hotels in HK – UPDATED (also in Chinese)

3. COVID-19 Vaccines in HK: Options, Safety & Costs – UPDATED (also in Chinese)


COVID-19 testing in private hospitals

There are 13 private hospitals in Hong Kong. Below are the ones offering COVID-19 tests within their outpatient departments. Tests are done in person unless specified otherwise.

Please note that some outpatient clinics may not accept suspected or high-risk cases and prefer sending these patients to the public sector.

Price

Procedure

Eligibility

(2522 2181)

Deep throat test: $1,300 (include one-time consultation & test result report)

Results on the same day not later than 10pm for sample submitted before 12pm

Click here for more details

Not travelled to a location with active community transmission of COVID-19 in the past 21 days

(2711 5222)

Deep throat saliva test + results: $850 (exclude doctor consultation fee)

Click here for details

Results on the same day for specimen submitted before 10am

Doctor determines eligiblity

(3153 9000)

Package (consultation + deep throat saliva test + test report): $1,200

Results on the same day for specimen submitted before 2pm on weekdays

Results on the same day for specimen submitted before 12pm on Satudays

Click here for more details

Doctor determines eligiblity

(3651 8808)

Deep throat saliva test: $1,000 (exclude doctor consultation fee)

Results on the same day before 10pm for specimen submitted before 12pm

Results on the next day before 12pm for specimen submitted after 12pm

Click here for more details

Doctor determines eligiblity

(2339 8888)

Deep throat saliva test Package (consultation + DTS test + test result report): $880 up (for booking before noon between Mon & Sat, except public holidays)


Nasopharyngeal swab test package (consultation + NPS test + test result report): $1,500

DTS package:

Results on the same day at around 5pm for specimen submitted before 1pm


NPS package:

Results ready by around 2 hours after completing the test

People without symptoms

(2835 8605)

Package including one-time consultation + deep throat saliva test + test result report: $1,060 (in Island East) or $1,210 (in Happy Valley, Central or Taikoo)

Results on the same day for sample submission before 9:30am 

Click here for more details

No contact history with confirmed case

(2849 1500)

Package including consultation + throat swab test + report: $2,000

Results on the same day before 6pm for specimen collected before 9am on weekdays

Results on Sundays before 6pm for specimen collected before 9pm on Saturdays

Click here for more details

People without symptoms

(3971 9900)

Deep throat saliva test + test report: $1,300

Doctor consultation + NPS test (real-time PCR test) + test report: $1,700

Deep throat saliva test: Results within 4 hours at the earliest

NPS test: Results within 4-6 hours at the earliest

Click here for more details

Doctor determines eligiblity 

(2275 6688)

Deep throat saliva test: $1,000 (exclude doctor consultation fee)

Click here for more details

Results on the same day at 3pm for specimen submitted before 12pm

Results on the same day at 9pm for specimen submitted before 5pm

Cannot get tested if you:
– have been in close contact with confirmed case
– traveled within the last 21 days

(2608 3388)

Deep throat saliva test + report: $1,000 (exclude doctor consultation fee)

Click here for details

Results in 4 hours at the earliest

Doctor determines eligiblity 

*All amounts are in HKD. No responsibility is accepted for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions. It is always best to call ahead to make sure the information is still up-to-date.

 

Coronavirus testing in private clinics

Several private clinics offer COVID-19 testing. Here are some of them according to our research.

Price

Procedure

Eligibility

(2824 0822)

Consultation: $1,100

Saliva test: $1,150

Saliva test with express results (24 hours): $1,450

Blood test: $750

Phone consultation

A third party collects the sample for you

Results within 2-3 working days

No conditions

(6511 8000)

Deep throat saliva test: $1,990

Results within 72 hours

Doctor determines eligibility

(2158 8500)

Tele-consultation + deep throat saliva test: $1,400

Tele-consultation with a doctor who determines eligibility

Nurse comes to your house to collect the sample

Results in 2-3 working days

No conditions for consultation

(2987 7575)

Consultation: $790

Saliva test:
$1,150 (+ $300 for quicker results)

Phone consultation

A third party collects the sample for you

Results in 72 hours (in 24-48 hours for quicker results)

No conditions

(3622 3452)

PCR test with medical certificate: $1,580

PCR test: $880

Rapid antibody testing: $280

PCR test results in 2 working days

Rapid antibody test results in 15 minutes
No conditions

(2537 6898)

Consultation: $900 

Deep throat saliva test: $1,000

Phone consultation

Results in 24-48 hours
 
Rushed 24 hrs result: extra $300-400
Not travelled out of Hong Kong in the last 21 days

No contact with confirmed case

(3420 6622)

Consultation: $780

Deep throat saliva test: 

Standard: $600

Express: $1,100  

Standard: results in 2 working days

Express: results on the same day by 6pm for test submitted before 9:30am

No symptoms

Not travelled out of Hong Kong in the last 14 days

(2155 9055)

Consultation: $1,050 (only if doctor's letter is required or new patient) 

Stat PCR (24 hours results): $1,400


PCR (48/72 hours results): $1,000

Blood test (IgG): $1,000

Phone consultation

A third party collects the sample for you

Results within 1-3 days

No conditions for consultation

For early results it needs to be done in the morning

(8301 8301)

(For people with symptoms) PCR test + clinic consultation: $300

(For people with symptoms) PCR test + video consultation: $390

(For asymptomatic people who are at risk) real-time PCR test + video consultation: $1,250

(For asymptomatic people who are at risk) real-time PCR test + clinic consultation: $950

Results within 1-2 working days 

Click here for more details

No conditions

(2197 0122)

Consultation + deep throat saliva test: $1,480 

Click here for more details

Consultation with doctor

Results on the same day before 6pm for specimen submitted before 10am

No conditions

* All amounts are in HKD. No responsibility is accepted for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions. It is always best to call ahead to make sure the information is still up-to-date.

If you have an emergency or need to see a doctor, we’ve put together a practical guide.

 

At-home COVID-19 testing in Hong Kong

– Hong Kong home care company Evercare now provides COVID-19 tests performed by a nurse at home or in the office for HKD2,200/person (HKD1,800/person for groups of 5 or above), with results within 1 to 2 days via email (additional HKD500 for same day results, HKD800 for health certificate + phone consultation and original copy couriered to your home).

Instaspecialist also provides tests performed by a nurse at home, after a doctor consultation, with results on the same day.

– DNA-testing company Prenetics has launched a new initiative called “Project Screen”. It offers at-home COVID-19 testing, via a Physician and WHO-recommended RT-PCR lab test. The results will tell you if you are positive or negative for COVID-19, based on validated studies by the National Health Commission and the US FDA.

 

I’ve tested positive for COVID-19. What now?

The doctor will inform the Department of Health. You will then be taken to a hospital to be quarantined.  Anyone you’ve been in close contact will need to stay at one of the government’s three quarantine centre to complete a 14-day quarantine. 

Family members living in the same unit will be put in the save flat during quarantine.

Learn more about home testing kits here.

Does health insurance cover COVID-19 testing in Hong Kong?

According to our team’s research, pandemics (e.g. COVID-19) are usually covered.

If you want to get tested, most insurers will cover you if you meet the following conditions:
– you need to have an outpatient cover,
– a Registered Medical Practitioner found that you have shown relevant clinical signs and symptoms,
– you entered your health insurance plan before you had symptoms (this term is usually applicable to individual plan instead of corporate plan).

If you have questions regarding health insurance, talk to an expert at AD Medilink.

 


 

Useful resources in Hong Kong

Quarantine HK Facebook Support Group

Information on quarantine for inbound travellers from the government

COVID-19 Hong Kong Facebook Update and Support Group

 

Health insurance is confusing

 


 

Looking for health insurance for yourself, your family, your employees? For expert advice and top-notch service, contact AD MediLink now at hello@admedilink.hk, call +852 2606 2668, receive a free quote or schedule a call with us. An advisor uniquely trained on the Hong Kong healthcare system will be in touch to answer all your questions about health insurance and healthcare.

 


This article was independently written by AD MediLink and is not sponsored. It is informative only and not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and should never be relied upon for specific advice.