Vaccine pass starts Feb 24

February 21, 2022

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


The vaccine pass will be implemented in three phases with the first phase to start on Thursday, under which those aged 12 or above with at least one COVID-19 vaccination dose will be permitted to enter specified premises.


Making the announcement today, the Government noted that implementing the vaccine pass in stages provides members of the public with ample time to receive a second or third vaccine dose. 


Only those who can produce the COVID-19 Vaccination Medical Exemption Certificate proving their unsuitability to receive COVID-19 vaccines due to health reasons are exempted.


Under the vaccine pass arrangement, scheduled premises are divided into two categories ie premises subject to "active checking" and those subject to "passive checking". 


Premises subject to "passive checking" include shopping malls, department stores, supermarkets and markets. Visitors are not required to actively produce their vaccination records or exemption certificates to those in charge of the premises. Operators of these premises must display a vaccine pass notice at the entry points and ensure their employees have fulfilled the vaccination requirement. Law enforcement officers may also conduct spot checks at these premises.


All remaining specified premises except hotels and guesthouses are subject to "active checking".


Apart from outdoor places of public entertainment, sports premises and event premises, any person who enters premises subject to "active checking" is required to produce a record containing a QR code for scanning by the person-in-charge of the premises. 


Any person whose vaccination record (eg non-local vaccination record) or exemption certificate does not contain a QR code is required to provide his or her personal particulars (name, contact number, date and time of visit) by completing a specified form for retention by the person-in-charge of the premises. 


At a press briefing this afternoon, Deputy Secretary for Food & Health (Health) Kevin Choi explained: “As to the question of why there are two types of premises that will ask for different types of either active or passive checking, basically, it is because risk-based assessments as well as the specific nature of those premises are taken into consideration.


“For example, in restaurants, we see there is really a higher risk of infection and transmission. So there is a case for us to ensure that the electronic vaccination record, the paper vaccination record or the exemption certificate must be actively checked.


“From a public health perspective, we do have preference over active checking, but at the same time, we know that for some premises, there are really operational difficulties to ensure that each and every person has passed through this kind of active checking.”


Vaccination records and exemption certificates may either be presented in electronic or paper form.


“For the paper form, you will always receive the paper form of the vaccination record when you get vaccinated in the Government Vaccination Programme. So that is the easy part. But of course, you could upload it to the LeaveHomeSafe app, to the iAM Smart app as well as to our eHealth app.”


He noted that the vaccine pass will be implemented by administrative order in places such as schools, government and public organisation offices, public hospitals and residential care homes for the elderly and people with disabilities.


Those who seek medical treatment at public hospitals and those accompanying them as well as students are exempted from the vaccine pass requirements, Mr Choi added.

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