COVID-19 Testing in HK: Complete Guide with Costs

There has been 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 Healthy Matters remains to bring you the best information, so you can make the best choices for you and your family. 


Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Hong Kong? Who is eligible? How much does it cost? Our Healthy Matters team has done all the research for you, so you don’t have to.

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, diarrhoea, 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: since July 14th, all passengers arriving from high risk countries (Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh and South Africa) need to get tested before their flight and show a certificate before boarding.

Which COVID-19 tests are available in Hong Kong?

Three types of tests are available in Hong Kong:

– One of them 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 analyzed in a lab (the CDC recommends the nose swab for more accurate results).

– Another is a blood test performed in a clinic or hospital and analyzed in a lab.

– The last one is a finger prick blood test you can 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 (ie. 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. Indeed, a study showed that when the test was taken within the first week of the onset of the symptoms, it only detected 30%. That number increased to 70% after 2 weeks and 90% after 3 weeks.

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

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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 $180. 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. The test is free. The only service you will have to pay for is the $180 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.

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COVID-19 tests in private hospitals

There are 12 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

(2835 8605)

Consultation: $320

Package(one-time consultation + deep throat saliva test + test result report): $2,000

Result within the same day for sample submission before 5pm

No conditions for consultation but not eligible if you: 

– have recent travel/contact history and symptoms

for more details

(2849 1500)

Package which includes consultation,NPS & throat swabs and blood test: $3,800

Blood test and swab

Results in 2 working days

Blood test and swab

Results in 2 working days

(2275 6688)

Consultation: $220 

Deep throat Saliva Test: $1,500

NPS test (real-time RCR): $1,920

Rapid test (results in 2 hours): $2,270

Consultation with a doctor

Doctor determines eligibility

Respiratory swab, early morning saliva

Next day results

Can’t get tested if you:

– have been in close contact with

confirmed case 

– traveled within last 14 days

(2122 1333)

Package (consultation + deep throat saliva test + test report): $1,950

Test report available on same day for specimen submitted before 5pm

Need either:

– symptoms

– recent travel history

– contact with confirmed case

(3651 8808)

Consultation: $1 000 (if recent travel or contact) or $450 

Deep throat saliva test: $1,500

NPS test: $2,000

Results within the same day (within 2 hours)

Not travelled out of Hong Kong in the last 14 days
 

(2522 2181)

NPS test/ Deep throat test : $1,500

Results within 4-6 hours

Not travelled out of Hong Kong in the last 14 days
 

(2339 8898)

Real-time PCR (NPS swab test and deep throat saliva test): $1,820

Rapid test (2 hour results): $2,320

Results within the same day for sample submitted before 1 pm

Not travelled out of Hong Kong in the last 14 days
 

(2608 3388)

Deep throat saliva test: $2,000

NPS test (real-time PCR test): $2,500

Rapid test (results within 2 hours): $3,200

Results within the same day

Doctor determines eligiblity 

* Precious Blood Hospital, St Paul’s Hospital, St Teresa Hospital and Evangel Hospital still did not offer COVID-19 testing when we last checked (July 9, 2020)

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COVID-19 tests in private clinics

A number of private clinics now offer COVID-19 testing. Here are some of the ones that do according to our research.

Price

Procedure

Eligibility

(2537 6898)

Consultation: $900 

Saliva test: $1,500

Phone consultation

Results within 2-3 days

Not travelled out of the country in the last 14 days

No contact with confirmed case

(2155 9055)

Consultation: $1,050 

Blood test: $1,800


swab test: $2,100


15 min finger prick (IgG) test: $800

Phone consultation

A third party collects the sample for you

Results within 2 working days

No conditions for consultation

(2824 0822)

Consultation: $1,100 

Test: $1,680

Phone consultation

A third party collects the sample for you

Results within 2 working days

No conditions for consultation

(2987 7575)

Consultation: $790 

Saliva test: $1,500 - $1,640

Phone consultation

A third party collects the sample for you

Results within 2 working days

No conditions for consultation

(2155 4209)

Doctor’s letter + blood test: $1,000

Consultation

Receive doctor’s letter

Receive test


Receive your at-home test kit

Prick your finger for blood test, get the result within 15 minutes.

No conditions

(customer service: 8301 8301)

consultation: $450 

test: $500

Blood test either at Wan Chai or Pacific Centre

Results while you’re there (1.5 hours)

Can’t get tested if you:

–  have symptoms

–  have a recent travel history

(customer service: 6511 8000)

Deep throat saliva test: $2,000

NPS swab test: $2,500

Rapid test (results within 2 hours): $3,200

Results within the same day

Doctor determines eligibility

(2869 9812)

Tele-consultation + nose swab: $4,388

Tele-consultation with a doctor who determines eligibility

Nurse comes to your house to collect the sample

Result within 24 hours via tele-consultation

No conditions for consultation

(2197 0122)

Consultation + deep throat test: $1,600

Consultation with doctor

Results within 2 3 days

No conditions 

*Last updated on July 9 2020. 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 tests

A number of companies now offer the option to purchase an at-home kit  online and have it delivered right to your doorstep:

TM Wellness (finger prick blood test)

Price: $428
Website: https://health.esdlife.com/shop/en/brand/tm-wellness
Email: [email protected]

Atto Health (finger prick blood test)

Price: $630
Website: www.shop.attohealth.org
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +852 6511 8200

Both offer international shipping.

*please note that the result of this test cannot be used as the sole basis for diagnosis and in the case of a positive test, further testing should be carried out in a clinic or hospital. 

* Note: before ordering, your eligibility for the test will be checked (in accordance with Hong Kong COVID-19 guidelines)

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.

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

This article was independently written by Healthy Matters and is not sponsored. It is informative only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be relied upon for specific medical advice.