Health declaration applies to XRL

January 23, 2020

The Government will extend the health declaration form system to cover all inbound travellers using the high speed rail from tomorrow.


Acting Chief Executive Matthew Cheung announced the move in a press conference this evening, following the third meeting of the Steering Committee formed under the Serious Response Level of the Preparedness & Response Plan for Novel Infectious Disease of Public Health Significance and after two people in Hong Kong tested positive for novel coronavirus infection.


“In light of what is happening now, particularly the recent events, we have decided to extend it to passengers from other cities as well. In other words, those using the high speed rail should fill in the forms and provide information to the fullest possible extent.”


The MTR Corporation will enhance the cleansing of Express Rail Link train compartments operated by the Mainland after arrival at Hong Kong West Kowloon Station, he added.


The expanded health declaration arrangement is among the package of enhanced measures to be taken to ensure a prompt response to the novel coronavirus infection during the Chinese New Year.


Other measures include the Centre for Health Protection enhancing surveillance of suspected cases and revising the reporting criteria of Severe Respiratory Disease associated with a Novel Infectious Agent, while various departments have also enhanced prevention and control measures.


Asked by reporters if the Government plans to issue travel warnings, Mr Cheung said it already encouraged schools to put their Mainland tours on hold.


“We have already advised school authorities, for example, to hold off on experiential tours to the Mainland - a lot of schools organise these during the holidays and so on - until the situation has settled or stabilised later on. 


"So we do, from time to time, issue travel advisories to stakeholders concerned.”


Regarding the city's two confirmed imported cases of novel coronavirus infection, the patients are now in a stable condition.


As for contact tracing, arrangements will be made for close contacts who need to be quarantined, while medical surveillance will be organised for other contacts.


As of 4pm today, one close contact and six other contacts have developed relevant symptoms and are now regarded as suspected cases. They have been sent to public hospitals for isolation and management.


A total of five other close contacts, who remain in Hong Kong, have arranged to stay at Lady MacLehose Holiday Village for quarantine.


The centre has set up a hotline 2125 1122 for the suspected and confirmed cases. People who are regarded as close contacts and other contacts of the cases concerned should call the hotline.


Health authorities are also liaising with suppliers at the wholesale level to expedite the delivery of masks and stepping up local supplies.


Citizens are urged to avoid visiting Wuhan. If the trip is unavoidable, they should wear a surgical mask and continue to do so until 14 days after returning to Hong Kong. 

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