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Government to gazette compulsory testing notice
     The Government will exercise the power under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Compulsory Testing for Certain Persons) Regulation (Cap. 599J) and publish in the Gazette a compulsory testing notice, which requires any person who had been present at specified premises during the specified period (persons subject to compulsory testing) to undergo a COVID-19 nucleic acid test by January 7.

     A spokesman for the Food and Health Bureau (FHB) said today (January 4), "A number of confirmed cases were recently found at Ward EG of Princess Margaret Hospital within a short period of time. Members of the public who had been to the relevant place might be subject to higher infection risks. The Government will publish a compulsory testing notice under Cap. 599J, which requires persons who had been to the above premises during the specified period to undergo testing immediately. The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health also recommends other staff members of the Princess Margaret Hospital to undergo testing."
     Details of persons subject to compulsory testing are as follows:

     Any person who had been present at Ward EG of Princess Margaret Hospital (located on G/F of Block E of the hospital), 2-10 Princess Margaret Hospital Road, Lai Chi Kok at any time during the period from December 28, 2020 to January 3, 2021 (including but not limited to staff, patients and visitors), have to undergo testing by January 7, 2021.  If persons subject to compulsory testing have previously undergone testing between January 2 and January 4, 2021, they would be taken to have complied with the requirements set out in the compulsory testing notice.

     Persons subject to compulsory testing may choose to undergo testing via the following routes:

1. To visit any mobile specimen collection stations (see the list and target groups (if applicable) at www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/early-testing.html) for testing;

2. To attend any community testing centres (see the list at www.communitytest.gov.hk/en/);

3. To obtain a deep throat saliva specimen collection pack from any of the 121 post offices, vending machines set up at 20 MTR stations or 47 designated general outpatient clinics (GOPCs) of the Hospital Authority and return the specimen to the designated specimen collection points (see the distribution points and time, and the specimen collection points and time at www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/early-testing.html);

4. To undergo testing at any healthcare facilities of the Hospital Authority (including GOPCs and accident and emergency departments) as instructed by a medical professional of the Hospital Authority; or

5. To self-arrange testing provided by private laboratories which are recognised by the Department of Health and can issue SMS notifications in respect of test results (see the list at www.coronavirus.gov.hk/pdf/List_of_recognised_laboratories_RTPCR.pdf)

     "If persons subject to compulsory testing have symptoms, they should seek medical attention immediately and undergo testing as instructed by a medical professional. They should not attend the mobile specimen collection stations or the community testing centres."

     Persons subject to compulsory testing must keep the SMS notification containing the result of the test, the Attendance Certificate, the Discharge Note, or the test report for checking by a law enforcement officer when the officer requires the persons to provide information about their undergoing the specified test. Furthermore, persons subject to testing under the compulsory testing notice should, as far as reasonably practicable, take appropriate personal disease prevention measures including wearing a mask and maintaining hand hygiene; and unless for the purpose of undergoing the specified test, stay at their place of residence and avoid going out until the test result is ascertained as far as possible.
     Any enquiries on compulsory testing arrangements may be addressed to the hotline at 6275 6901 which operates daily from 9am to 6pm. If persons subject to compulsory testing plan to conduct testing at any of the community testing centres, they can check the centre's appointment status in advance. The hotlines of the community testing centres are at www.communitytest.gov.hk/en/info/.

     The Government will continue to trace possibly infected persons who had been to the relevant premises, and seriously verify whether they had complied with the testing notice. Any person who fails to comply with the testing notice commits an offence and may be fined a fixed penalty of $5,000. The person would also be issued with a compulsory testing order requiring him/her to undergo testing within a specified timeframe. Failure to comply with the order is an offence and the offender would be liable to a fine at level 4 ($25,000) and imprisonment for six months.

     The spokesman said, "The Government urges all individuals who are in doubt about their own health conditions, or individuals with infection risks (such as individuals who visited places with epidemic outbreaks or contacted confirmed cases) to undergo testing promptly for early identification of infected persons. The FHB will publish compulsory testing notices regarding particular groups when necessary taking into account the epidemic development and the testing participation rate."
Ends/Monday, January 4, 2021
Issued at HKT 21:45
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