Yacht crew in HK exempt from two household rule


Following a letter from the Hong Kong Boating Industry Association, the Marine Department has confirmed crew on private vessels “constitute an exempted gathering” from the current Covid regulation prohibiting gatherings from more than two households.


Photo: NextWave Yachting


Crew working on private yachts are now exempt from the current anti-epidemic rule preventing people from more than two households gathering in private premises, following an exchange between the Hong Kong Boating Industry Association and the Marine Department.


As private yachts are considered private premises, HKBIA Chair Lawrence Chow wrote to the Hong Kong Government explaining that the ‘two-household’ rule in effect since February 10 prevents many crew from doing their job as private vessels are their workplace.


“Captains and crew that maintain and operate private vessels will not be able to work since they are of different households,” Chow wrote. “On the other hand, there are no regulations restricting the number of households in a workplace.”


The Marine Department, in consultation with the Food and Health Bureau and the Transport and Housing Bureau, confirmed that private vessels not used for public transportation or pleasure vessels let for hire or reward are obliged to comply with the laws prohibiting multi-household gatherings involving more than two households.


However, the Marine Department wrote in its response to the HKBIA: “Such requirement notwithstanding, it is FHB’s view that gatherings among crew members of private vessels, including on board the vessel for the purpose of work, would constitute an exempted gathering.”


The letter included a reminder that pleasure vessels let for hire or reward, such as charter yachts, are currently banned from operation. 


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