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FEHD actively promotes participation of bar and pub staff in virus testing
     ​The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) today (November 4) announced that to actively promote the participation of bar and pub staff in the voluntary free COVID-19 testing, the FEHD and its testing agency, Prenetics Limited, will take the initiative to contact operators of bars and pubs to arrange testing services. 

     The FEHD met or communicated with a number of representatives of the bar and pub industry last week. All parties appreciated the fact that implementing effective anti-epidemic measures on critical control points could effectively help reduce the risk of virus transmission. The trade representatives also pledged to cooperate with the FEHD and the testing agency on the virus testing services for staff of bars and pubs.
     The testing agency will be responsible for the provision of one-stop service covering specimen collection and testing. The testing agency will deliver specimen bottles to operators of bars and pubs for collecting deep throat saliva samples of their staff, and then collect the samples in the subsequent one to two days for testing. To boost the participation rate of the bar and pub targeted group, the testing agency will proactively visit various bars and pubs for two consecutive weeks starting this Friday (November 6) to carry out the work. Bar and pub operators may also call the testing agency's hotline (3008 8319) for enquiries or follow-up arrangements if necessary. 

     In addition, starting November 6, the testing agency will again arrange mobile vans to be parked in the following bar areas from Friday to Sunday nights for two consecutive weeks to distribute specimen bottles to bar and pub patrons:

November 6     near The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street, Central
November 7     near 25 Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
November 8     near 88 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai
November 13   near 38-40 Davis Street, Kennedy Town
November 14   near CTMA Centre, Sai Yeung Choi Street South, Mong Kok
November 15   near 36 Staunton street, Central

     Patrons may return their specimen bottles by themselves to the mobile collection van of the testing agency parked at Hoi Chak Street in Quarry Bay from 9am to 5pm between November 7 and 17. Specimens with preliminary positive results will be relayed to the Public Health Laboratory Services Branch of the Department of Health to re-test and confirm the result. Positive cases will be followed up and announced by the Centre for Health Protection.

     Since October 1, the testing agency has delivered over 8 300 specimen bottles at over 420 bars and pubs, and collected about 5 400 specimens for testing. 

     An FEHD spokesman said that laying a solid foundation on anti-epidemic measures as early as possible could help the industry rise above the challenges of the epidemic situation steadily in the future. The spokesman strongly appealed to bar and pub operators to actively arrange for their staff to participate in the testing scheme, and continue to comply with the directions made under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F), to maintain personal and environmental hygiene continuously with a view to ensuring cleanliness of the premises, and to always remind their customers to comply with the requirements of the Prevention and Control of Disease (Prohibition on Group Gathering) Regulation (Cap. 599G).
Ends/Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Issued at HKT 14:52
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