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What to pack incase you have to quarantine at Penny’s Bay

Hong Kong health officials are racing to contain several Omicron clusters, the first one from Moon Palace restaurant in Kowloon Tong’s Festival Walk, the second from a dance group, the scandal-hit birthday party, and the latest untraced case of a saleswoman working at the Causeway branch of SOGO department centre. To tackle the growing outbreak, a three-week quarantine at Penny’s Bay is getting slapped left, right and centre. 21 days of isolation (time depends on your point of contact with the positive case) at this campsite might not be the staycation you wanted at the start of 2022, but it can become bearable if you pack right and keep our essential survival tips in mind. 

Penny’s Bay Diaries: Practical Packing Tips

It’s one of the most stringent quarantine facilities in the world but those who’ve done it say it’s not a total disaster. Navigating life in 13-square-metre room comes with several rounds of PCR tests, daily temperature monitoring, three square meals a day, a basic TV and not much in the way of entertainment (or life).

What’s Provided:

The spartan dormitory comes with a television set (and HDMI port: yay!), an electric kettle, basic mattress wrapped in plastic and sheets. You can ask for bath towels and use them as door mats. The welcome kit will have a bottle of bleach, a floor cleaner, mop and a broomstick, laundry detergent, water bottles and a data card. Members in blue hazmat suit will also drop a temperature recording kit, thermometers and a dairy to note the thrice-in-a-day readings. The staff is efficient and helpful, however, they might take two to three days to organise and streamline your requests. 

Upon entrance, you’re asked about the food you want – a little birdie told us that Indian cuisine is the most palatable and if you’re have two or more in your room, Indian and one Canto-food meal is the best combination to have. Portions are large, can easily be shared – one Canto meal always provides a fallback option for days when you want a simple congee or stir-fry choi. The food is pallid, you will need condiments and sauces from home to make it consumable. Remember, the staff is over-worked and over-tired, changes in meals (swap Canto with Western, for example) takes a couple of days to reflect. 

The room comes with basic curtains but the corridor lights never go out – carry some eye-shades if you need a total blackout moment. Drying laundry, especially in this damp weather will be a challenge, pack enough clothes to last your time here. 

Also Read: Social Restrictions Kick in HK: Here’s What Is Still Allowed

What’s Allowed: 

Deliveries are allowed. As long as you go through the hassle of pre-arranging through a Whastapp group and your parcel comes in the open time window. Friends and colleagues will need to drive or cab all the way to the lengthy stretch leading to quarantine centre (it’s off the Hong Kong Disneyland). 

Fresh and non-persishable food items – ensure the parcel comes in the delivery window but don’t expect it to be handed over while its nice and hot. Room deliveries can take up to several hours, luckily the cold weather won’t ruin it. 

You can carry your own electric hot plate – word is mixed on whether authorities will allow it to be delivered to your room or not but its surely allowed in your own luggage. 

There is no limit to the amount of luggage you want to take – no assistance offered either, so pack as much as you can drag. 

Tobacco and alcohol cannot be delivered. However, there’s no limit to the stash you take with you on arrival. The facility does not come with a fridge but plenty of people buy their own mini-bar to stock food and wine. Speaking of which, Crushed Wines, started by four women over a common passion for wine, marketing and F&B – have created innovative travelling packs of  bottles and cans (which can be delivered to your hotel room, if you’re flying back to Hong Kong), ideal for the teeny quarantine fridge space. 21  days of isolation is a huge ask, order away, we’d say! 

Essentials to Pack:

  1. There is no Wi-Fi here, if you’re expected to work here sort out a solid data plan or a Wifi egg for better bandwidth.
  2. Mattresses are thin and plastic wrapped. Ask for two per person to make it comfortable and top it with your own Ikea mattress topper.
  3. Carry your own pillow, the ones provided are so hard they’ll give a neck ache and pack some sheets for a nice homely feeling. 
  4. Blankets are decent, ask for extra if you’re not warm enough.
  5. Charging cables, converters, extension cord (power outlets are limited), disinfectants, wipes and sprays. 
  6. Slippers, flip slops and fuzzy socks – since you’re here for a while, best to get things which make you comfortable.
  7. First aid kit with essential medicines and your daily vitamins. There is a manned clinic which runs 24*7 in case you have a medical emergency but for anything non-Covid related there might be ample delay. Best to have your own stock. 
  8. A yoga mat, dumbbells and basic exercise equipment will be good to get the fitness going. 
  9. Entertainment is sparse – downloading your own Prime and Netflix content is a good idea. A couple of board games is not a bad thought too. I solved the Rubik’s cube the last time I was shipped off to mandatory quarantine. #positiveupdateoftheday
  10. UHT milk is provided but a small coffee machine would be ideal to start the day right. 
  11. Wine. Did we say that already? Oh, well… 

 Also Read: Restrictions are on but here’s what you can still do in Hong Kong

2022-01-12T15:13:54+00:00 January 10, 2022|Latest, Living|