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Labour Department continues to arrange free COVID-19 testing for foreign domestic helpers waiting to join new employers
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     The Labour Department (LD) announced today (December 24) that the free COVID-19 testing service will continue to be provided from January 2 to February 6, 2021, for foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) waiting to join their new employers' family.
 
     An LD spokesman said, "From August 25 to December 24, the Government provided three rounds of free COVID-19 testing service for FDHs whose previous employment contracts had expired or had been terminated and who were waiting to join the new employers' family. To benefit more FDHs, the LD will continue to arrange free COVID-19 testing service for these FDHs. We strongly encourage FDHs staying in boarding facilities while waiting to change employers to actively participate in the free testing to safeguard their health. If an FDH needs to stay in a boarding facility for an extended period of time while waiting to change employer, he or she may retake the test as appropriate, especially before joining the new employer's family. We appeal for employment agencies' active assistance in arranging for FDHs to collect specimen collection packs at the temporary distribution/collection point and to return the specimens for testing. We also advise employers to check that their new FDHs have a valid negative test result before joining the family."
 
     Eligible FDHs may, starting from January 2, 2021, collect and return specimen collection packs at the temporary distribution/collection point located at 1/F (footbridge level), Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai. No prior appointment is required. The temporary distribution/collection point will be open from 11am to 4pm from Monday to Saturday. The last day for distributing specimen collection packs falls on February 5, 2021, and the last day for returning the specimens is February 6. 
 
     When distributing specimen collection packs, duty officers will ask for simple information regarding the eligibility of the FDH for the testing service, e.g. the Hong Kong identity card number and/or passport number, the reference number and limit of stay as shown on the latest visa issued by the Immigration Department (ImmD), or the reference number/date of application for a visa/extension of stay as a visitor as shown on documents issued by the ImmD. The FDH should bring along the relevant documents for a smooth identity verification process. He or she will be asked to sign a consent form to give consent to taking the test and confirm his or her eligibility for the testing service. After collecting the specimen collection pack, the FDH is required to register his or her personal information at a government website (www.tgptest.gov.hk; please select "Non-Government Staff - Foreign domestic helpers waiting to join new employers' family") in order to receive SMS notification of the testing result. FDHs should record the barcode number of the bottle they collect after registration for reference. If necessary, duty officers can assist the FDH in registration. The FDH should self-collect the deep throat saliva specimen and return it to the temporary collection point on the same day as self-collection.
 
     The testing agency will deliver the specimens to the laboratory for testing. The testing agency will not acquire or retain any personal information of the participants. Participants will be notified of a negative test result via SMS. Positive cases will be referred to the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health (DH) for follow-up and the DH will contact the participant concerned if it is confirmed to be an infection case.
 
     Separately, the Government is providing one-off free COVID-19 testing service to all FDHs in Hong Kong from December 18 to January 31, 2021. Please refer to the press release (www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202012/16/P2020121600777.htm) for details.
 
     For enquiries, please contact the LD through the dedicated FDH hotline at 2157 9537 (manned by 1823) or by email to [email protected]
 
Ends/Thursday, December 24, 2020
Issued at HKT 10:30
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