1. Government to relax social distancing measures under “vaccine bubble”
The Government has gazetted directions and specifications under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F), the Prevention and Control of Disease (Prohibition on Group Gathering) Regulation (Cap. 599G) and the Prevention and Control of Disease (Wearing of Mask) Regulation (Cap. 599I) to relax social distancing measures with conditions with “vaccine bubble” as the basis. These directions and specifications take effect from 0.00am on April 29, for a period of 14 days till May 12.
1. Except for bars or pubs which are subject to other requirements, all catering business must operate according to one or more of the following operating mode(s). Among them, Types A and B Mode of Operation are existing arrangements, while Types C and D Mode of Operation are introduced under the “vaccine bubble”.
Arrangements for Catering Business, Bars/Pubs and five Scheduled Premises under the “Vaccine Bubble”
Summary of latest measures on catering business and scheduled premises:
2. Unless exempted, the prohibition on group gatherings of more than four persons in public places will continue during the specified period. The requirement is also applicable to group gatherings in catering business and scheduled premises regulated under Cap. 599F in which the relevant requirements or restrictions are not complied with.
Relaxation Arrangements for Group Gathering Restrictions under the “Vaccine Bubble”:
3. The mandatory mask-wearing requirement under Cap. 599I will be extended during the specified period.
The Government reminds the public that a staff member or a customer who makes false declarations or provides false information under the measures may be subject to a fixed penalty of $5,000.
Relevant specified forms and template of medical certificate:
To help catering premises and scheduled premises operators, as well as the general public, understand the operational details of the “vaccine bubble”, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) has launched a thematic webpage as a one-stop portal to provide relevant information and working tools:
Depending on the epidemic development and the implementation of the first phase of measures under the ‘vaccine bubble’, the Government will review and adjust the details of the measures and consider further relaxation of restrictions in respect of the operation of restaurants and other premises under the second phase.
For details, please refer to:
2. The Government continues to ensure that the authorised vaccines satisfy the criteria of safety, efficacy and quality
The Advisory Panel on COVID-19 Vaccines convened a meeting on 29 April 2021 to conduct continuous benefit-risk analysis of the authorised COVID-19 vaccines. After reviewing all the latest available clinical and safety data related, the Advisory Panel still considered that the benefits outweighed the risks. There was no need to recommend changes regarding the use of the vaccine.
For details, please refer to:
More information on COVID-19 vaccines:
3. Government further tightens place-specific flight suspension mechanism and suspends passenger flights from Nepal
In view of the continually unstable global epidemic situation, the Government will adjust the place-specific flight suspension mechanism. A new criterion will also be introduced to run in parallel. If a total of 10 or more passengers were confirmed positive by any tests (including tests conducted during quarantine) with the N501Y mutant strain or relevant virus mutation within a seven-day period, the flight suspension mechanism would also be triggered. At the same time, as a measure to manage the flight resumption arrangements more cautiously under the mechanism, the Government will conduct risk assessments every two weeks for comprehensive reviews of relevant factors such as the epidemic situation of the relevant places, vaccination rate, and the prevalence of new virus variants, etc., before determining whether it was appropriate to remove the flight suspension. Due to the need to review the epidemic situation of the place concerned, the flight suspension mechanism will not be lifted automatically.
Under the tightened place-specific flight suspension mechanism, the Government will extend the measure to prohibit all passenger flights from India, Pakistan and the Philippines from landing in Hong Kong, and starting from 00.00am on May 1, prohibit all passenger flights from Nepal from landing in Hong Kong.