Compulsory universal testing set

February 22, 2022

(To watch the full media session with sign language interpretation, click here.)


Chief Executive Carrie Lam today announced that the Government will implement the compulsory universal testing (CUT) scheme in March, under which all citizens must undergo three rounds of COVID-19 tests.


Meeting the media this evening, Mrs Lam said hundreds of testing centres will be set up across the city for people to undergo three mandatory COVID-19 nucleic acid tests, so as to identify asymptomatic patients in the community.


Citizens can make appointments for testing on the specified dates according to their year of birth through a booking system. Each person can also bring up to two children or seniors to get tested together.


Rapid antigen test kits and masks will be distributed to people who have undergone testing at the centres as they are required to conduct rapid tests daily on their own before they undergo the next virus test.


Those who do not comply with the compulsory testing requirement will be subject to penalties, Mrs Lam added.


Responding to reporters' questions, the Chief Executive also reiterated that there are currently no plans to impose a lockdown on Hong Kong.


“During the CUT, at the moment, we have no plans to disallow people to leave their home because that would be very difficult to implement because a large number of people have to go out to work, especially in relation to the anti-epidemic work.


“So whenever we have something that is mandatory, you have to think about exemptions. How to identify all those people who need to be exempted and allow them to go out to work in essential services and to support the anti-epidemic work or to support the financial services in Hong Kong? It is a very big issue.


“So we will not likely take a decision to disallow people to go out on a wholesale and a prolonged basis.


“One night is okay, two days may be also okay. But the CUT will take place within the month of March three times. So how long are we going to lock up the people of Hong Kong?


“Let us not focus on a city lockdown or a lockdown. Let us focus on how we could ensure the 7.4 million people in Hong Kong will embrace this compulsory universal testing and take an active part so that it will be a successful scheme.”

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