Social distancing rules maintained

January 14, 2022

(To watch the full press conference with sign language interpretation, click here.)


Chief Executive Carrie Lam today said a higher COVID-19 jab rate would enable the Government to allow businesses to operate under a vaccine bubble and announced that social distancing rules will be extended until February 3.


At a press conference this afternoon, Mrs Lam said: “Previously, we just rolled out the social distancing measures for 14 days, and then another 14 days, or even without an end date. This created a lot of anxiety and uncertainties for the trade.


“Now we are in a situation better than the fourth wave because of vaccination. And I hope to see the vaccination rate go up, say, to over 80% or close to 90%.


“That would give us a better basis to now foretell that by then, after this expiry of the second 14 days, we may be able to allow these premises to start operating again under a vaccine bubble. In other words, their staff and customers have to be vaccinated before they can go into the premises.”


Based on the development of the epidemic situation, the current social distancing measures effective from January 7 to 20 will be maintained until February 3, spanning the Lunar New Year (LNY).


LNY fairs at 15 locations and Fong Ma Po New Year Fair at Lam Tsuen in Tai Po will be cancelled.


In a press statement, the Food & Environmental Hygiene Department said it is possible that a large number of people may gather at the LNY fairs. The decision was made to protect the stall owners’ and visitors’ health and reduce the risk of virus transmission.


Meanwhile, to prevent the importation of COVID-19 cases, the Government announced that the place-specific flight suspension mechanism for Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, the UK and the US will be extended for 14 days to February 4.


All passenger flights from the eight places will be prohibited from landing in Hong Kong. At the same time, people who have stayed in these places for more than two hours within 21 days will be restricted from boarding passenger flights for Hong Kong.


Furthermore, in view of the detection of Omicron cases, Armenia, Bonaire, Guatemala and New Caledonia will be listed as Group A specified places from January 17. Non-Hong Kong residents who have stayed there within 21 days will not be allowed to enter the city.


Separately, the Social Welfare Department has made special arrangements for its subsidised service units.


While the services provided by the department and its subsidised service units will be maintained, group activities including interest classes and talks, and mass programmes in all service units, will be suspended until February 3.


Except for visits for official or compassionate reasons, all visiting arrangements for residential care homes for the elderly and the disabled will also be suspended.

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