Arrangements for services subsidised by SWD after the Chinese New Year holidays

Attention duty announcers, radio and TV stations:

Please broadcast the following special announcement immediately, and repeat it at frequent intervals:

     "In response to the latest development of novel coronavirus infection, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced on January 25 that the response level under the "Preparedness and Response Plan for Novel Infectious Disease of Public Health Significance" has been raised to Emergency Response Level. To minimise the risk of infection for service users, especially those physically weak or susceptible to infection, the Social Welfare Department (SWD) today (January 27) announced the following arrangements for the welfare services subsidised by the SWD after the Chinese New Year holidays until February 17:

(1) All aided child care centres, day care centres for the elderly, sheltered workshops, integrated vocational rehabilitation services centres and day activity centres will suspend their service delivery. These centres will, however, remain open to serve those in need. Members of the public who have the need for the services mentioned may contact the service units concerned in advance.

(2) Other services subsidised by the SWD, such as integrated family service centres, integrated children and youth services centres, district elderly community centres, neighbourhood elderly centres, district support centres for persons with disabilities and integrated community centres for mental wellness, etc., will only provide limited services, except for the counselling service necessitated through client facing encounters, with a view to reducing the risk of contact and infection for a large number of service users. The SWD will also ask the service units providing these subsidised services to make clear to service users the scope of their limited services (e.g. not including groups and programmes).

     All subsidised service units will continue to take note of the guidelines issued by the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health in respect of the development of novel coronavirus infection. They will step up measures to prevent communicable diseases, including keeping the premises clean, requesting service users and staff to wash hands with alcohol hand rub and to wear surgical face masks, as well as enhancing body temperature screening measures."

Ends/Monday, January 27, 2020
Issued at HKT 23:24