The High Court has refused to allow a family returning from South Africa to quarantine at home in Hong Kong during the coronavirus pandemic after they complained of unlawful detention in a government-run camp. Mr Justice Anderson Chow Ka-ming on Wednesday dismissed the family’s application to change their place of detention from the Junior Police Call Permanent Activity Centre and Integrated Youth Training Camp in Pat Heung to their house in Aberdeen. Leslie Grant Horsfield, founder of the sustainable hospitality company Naked Group, together with his wife, three children and domestic helper, were ordered into 14 days of compulsory quarantine upon their return from South Africa, via Doha, on May 14. Hong Kong family forced into quarantine takes legal action against government Court documents filed in their application for judicial review showed they had expected to isolate at home and were “absolutely flabbergasted” to find the camp “not safe or habitable” because of “extremely poor and unsanitary” conditions. Their lawyers had argued that they must be allowed to return home because their detention in camp was unlawful when the chief executive had no power to make regulations providing for the quarantine or detention of persons in the first place. They also called the detention arbitrary as they argued there was no proper basis for concluding that all entrants from South Africa posed a higher risk than other arrivals – such as from the United States and United Kingdom – who could quarantine at home. All six applicants have tested negative for Covid-19. The judge will explain his reasons on a later date. Chow also dismissed another application for judicial review, challenging the social-distancing rules that limited group gatherings in public places. A man surnamed Leung had argued that the Prevention and Control of Disease (Prohibition on Group Gathering) Regulation, which imposed the rules, was unconstitutional because it violated the Basic Law, the city’s mini-constitution. Leung said the Basic Law provided residents with the freedom of assembly and right to personal liberty. But he did not develop his argument nor identify the remedy he was seeking. Chow said the application could be dismissed solely on this basis because Leung did not follow the Rules of the High Court. But the judge made further observations, noting that the rights mentioned were not absolute. He also found the restrictions imposed were proportionate and justified because they served a legitimate aim of safeguarding public health, while striking a reasonable balance between societal interests and the encroachment of individual rights. “The proposed application for judicial review is not reasonably arguable,” Chow wrote. Hong Kong has recorded 1,055 confirmed infections, including four imported cases from South Africa, as of Wednesday.