FEHD arranges one-off free COVID-19 testing service for restaurant staff (with photos/video)

     The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) today (July 17) launched the COVID-19 testing service for staff of restaurants with seating areas. Starting from today, restaurant operators could make registration online through FEHD’s website (www.fehd.gov.hk) while public market cooked food/light refreshment stalls and licensed cooked food hawker stalls operators will be contacted by the testing agency (Prenetics Limited), thus obviating the need for making registration.
     A spokesman for the FEHD said, "The epidemic situation in Hong Kong has become severe since early July. To strengthen the anti-epidemic work, the Government has decided to provide virus test for high risk groups to safeguard public health. Among them, the catering business staff group (including licensed restaurants, licensed light refreshment restaurants, licensed marine restaurants, licensed factory canteens, school canteens, staff canteens, public market cooked food/light refreshment stalls and licensed cooked food hawker stalls) will be provided with voluntary one-off free virus testing service.
     The spokesman said, "The testing service provided for restaurant staff started from today.  Operators of restaurants may make registration online at the FEHD website (www.fehd.gov.hk/english/events/covid19_test/restaurant.html).  Operators of public market cooked food/light refreshment stalls and licensed cooked food hawker stalls will not need to make registration, and the testing agency will contact them direct."
     The spokesman said, "Under the scheme, the testing agency will be responsible for the provision of one-stop service covering specimen taking and testing. The testing agency will deliver specimen bottles to restaurants for collecting deep throat saliva samples, and then collect the samples in the subsequent one to two days for testing. Cases with positive results will be relayed to the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health for follow-up.  The testing agency will work closely with the FEHD to determine priority set with reference to a risk-based approach, manpower resources available and number of registered restaurants."
     The testing agency plans to cover areas including Wong Tai Sin and Kwun Tong in its work for these few days, and has started today by dispatching staff to the Wong Tai Sin area to distribute specimen bottles. The testing agency will progressively follow up the testing work for restaurant staff in other areas. 
     The FEHD strongly appeals to the food industry to actively participate in the testing scheme, and continue to comply with the directions in the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F), and to maintain environmental hygiene continuously with a view to ensuring cleanliness of the premises and food safety.
     For details of the testing programme, please call the hotline of the testing agency (Prenetics Limited) at 3008 8319 or visit the FEHD website (www.fehd.gov.hk).

Ends/Friday, July 17, 2020
Issued at HKT 22:31