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AFCD provides free COVID-19 testing services for Hong Kong mobile fishermen and their deckhands
     The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) today (August 19) announced that as all Hong Kong mobile fishermen and their deckhands on board vessels operating in Mainland waters are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result issued by one of the medical-testing institutions recognised by Hong Kong within 72 hours prior to entry to the Mainland, the AFCD has started to provide free testing services to the above-mentioned people today.

     A spokesman for the AFCD said, "All Hong Kong mobile fishermen and the deckhands hired on board their fishing vessels or fisheries ancillary vessels operating in Mainland waters are eligible for the services."

     Distribution and collection of the sample bottles for deep throat saliva tests for the first round of tests will be conducted at three locations, namely Aberdeen Wholesale Fish Market, Cheung Sha Wan Wholesale Fish Market, and Castle Peak Wholesale Fish Market under the Fish Marketing Organization. Bottles were distributed from 2pm to 5pm today, and will be distributed from 8am to 1pm on August 20 and 21, and collected between 8am and 1pm from August 20 to 22.

     The spokesman reminded fishermen and deckhands who will take the tests to collect bottles and application forms in person. Hong Kong mobile fishermen should bring along their Hong Kong Identity Cards, Mainland Travel Permits for Hong Kong and Macao Residents and the fishing permit / ancillary vessel permit (either a copy or electronic file is acceptable). Mainland deckhands should bring along their Identity Cards and Deckhand Permits issued by the Mainland authorities and the vessel owner’s confirmation letter (if the vessel owners have not come along). Application forms and confirmation letters can be downloaded from the following website: www.afcd.gov.hk/english/whatsnew/what_fis/what_fis.html.

     Sample bottles should be returned together with completed forms and can be done by others.

     The spokesman added that arrangement of further COVID-19 testing services after the above-mentioned dates will continue and details will be announced later.

     To safeguard personal health and minimise health risks, the spokesman urged fishermen to maintain environmental hygiene at all times and remind their staff to pay attention to personal hygiene to reduce the risk of  contracting the disease. Fishing vessels should be equipped with thermometers. The body temperatures of everyone on board should be taken and recorded every day. All necessary protective measures should be taken during their sojourn on the Mainland or in Hong Kong to safeguard personal hygiene and avoid unnecessary social contacts. In case of fever or any other respiratory symptoms, medical advice should be sought as soon as possible. For relevant information, please visit the COVID-19 Thematic Website: www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/index.html.

     For enquiries, please call 2150 7095 or 2150 7099.
Ends/Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Issued at HKT 21:21
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