HKFP Information: Easy methods to survive and even thrive in Hong Kong resort quarantine

By Mart van de Ven

Three weeks of seepage in a hotel room is now the price of entering or re-entering the city. So how can you keep yourself from going crazy? We’ve put together tips and resources you need to survive – no! dare to say flourish – during a mandatory stay in glorious isolation.

Before I come to Hong Kong

With a little planning and care, you will remember why people once volunteered to stay in hotels.

Photo: Facebook screenshot.

1. Join a support group

No, really, even if you really have no problem! HK Quarantine Support Group is a fabulous chronicle of all the wisdom and suffering of the thousands of travelers who have gone before you. Use search to find reviews, tips, and reviews that are relevant to you.

2. Book your stay

A gift is only as good as the box in which it was delivered. Keep these words in mind when you buy a box to receive the quarantine gift in! The restricted list of 36 hotels was published in an ugly PDF. Thanks to Grégoire Tavernier, it is now also available as a crowd sourcing table. The sheet lists all of the potential rooms by type, rate, size, and more. Use filters to narrow the choices down to your budget and preferences. Then go to the support group to check these options with pictures.

Likewise:

  • Confirm the cancellation policy – some hotels dance around the terms so it is best to be clear about the terms and conditions for changing / canceling your booking and at what cost. Get it in writing before booking.
  • Book early despite uncertainty – although the “average” occupancy was only 40 percent, it was 90 percent for options with moderate prices. Book early if you want one of the better deals.
  • Receive a booking confirmation directly from your hotel. At least one traveler was not allowed to board as the booking site confirmation had literally translated the hotel’s Chinese name into English and therefore could not be compared to the restricted list. Oy vey!

3. Keep up to date

The rules of the game are constantly changing, so:

  • Check the government’s official website for the latest rules, requirements, and procedures. In particular, read the section on incoming travel.
  • Check your airline’s and airport of departure’s Covid-related policies. Additional documentation requirements may be required before you can fly.
  • Some overseas ground crews may be misinformed and ban you from your flight even though you did everything right. In these cases, be prepared to show them the evidence from the government’s official website or have them call the Hong Kong Immigration Hotline +852 1868 to resolve your case.

When you start your quarantine

Unless you’re a claustrophile – in this case, congratulations on winning the psychological lottery – you’ll want to squeeze every bit of space out of your space.

Photo: Mart van de Ven.

4. Maximize usable room

The standard layouts for hotel rooms are inefficient. So rearrange the room, e.g. B. having more space to exercise (in front of the TV) or to set up your desk.

Photo: Mart van de Ven.

5. Discover hidden storage spaces

Check for removable beautification panels – drop them! – and create more space!

Photo: Mart van de Ven.

6. Use the hallway for storage …

… So that your room feels less like a temporary stay and more like what it really is, your sparkling new home!

Photo: Mart van de Ven.

7. Catch objects under the bed

It is best to take everything you don’t use to places you don’t go. Also, keep linens and towels under the bed – wrap them in plastic to keep them clean – and wham! You have just cleared up more space! Hotel staff may also remove excess items when prompted.

As creatures, we also need our comfort. So if possible, prepare a package with everything for your quarantine before you leave Hong Kong and have it delivered to your hotel on the day of your arrival. Bring everything you need but also:

Photo: Mart van de Ven.

8. Bring your home office with you

Laptops trade convenience for portability, and let’s face it, you’re not going anywhere. So bring your desk chair along with an external monitor so you can keep your chin up!

Photo: Mart van de Ven.

9. Expand your desk

Hotel desks are usually designed for dwarf guests. So, add your suitcase to the depth of your desk (plus some pretty panels you looted earlier) instead of being rocked by pixel bliss from near the screen. That way, you’ll be a comfortable distance from your screen and keep your eyesight when you’re released back into the wild.

Photo: Mart van de Ven.

10. Deliver the yums

The menus included are a bit poor. So check your delivery options via Deliveroo, Foodpanda or Uber Eats. Wellcome, Park ‘n Shop’, Market Place and other Supers also deliver.

Photo: carousel screenshot.

11. Make yourself cheap

Buying new exercise or entertainment equipment for just three weeks can seem wasteful. Instead, buy them secondhand and resell them after your release. If you shop wisely, you end up paying a small rental fee. For example, a Nintendo Switch with Ringfit Adventure on Carousell is ideal for training and has a high resale value. You can ask the seller to deliver it to your hotel by courier.

Photo: Mart van de Ven.

And finally, for your own health sake, put on the fairy lights and throw yourself a party!

Photo: Mart van de Ven.

Mart van de Ven is a Principal at Droste Data Science Consultancy and co-founder of Open Data Hong Kong. He’s a linguist who has fallen on the dark side of numbers, who offers super deluxe tours of Kowloon, and describes his spreadsheet relationship status as “complicated”.

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