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FEHD launches thematic webpage to help the trade and general public understand how the "vaccine bubble" works
     To help catering premises and scheduled premises operators, as well as the general public, understand the operational details of the "vaccine bubble", the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) has launched a thematic webpage (www.fehd.gov.hk/english/events/covid19/vaccine_bubble_FP.html) as a one-stop portal to provide relevant information and working tools, a spokesman for the FEHD said today (April 29).

     The thematic webpage sets out in detail the various operation modes for catering premises, bars or pubs/nightclubs and scheduled premises, and provides a link to the scanner app for catering premises and scheduled premises operators to download, so that they can verify the authenticity of their customers' vaccination or COVID-19 test record QR codes. Information such as notices of operation mode for the catering business, posters for customers, formats of catering premises' floor plans, the templates for relevant forms, etc, have also been uploaded. Catering premises operators under Types C and D Modes of Operation may also declare via the webpage that their staff comply with the vaccination requirements.

     "The FEHD will also issue advisory letters to the trade informing them of the latest directions and specifications under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F), and calling on them to continue to strictly comply with various anti-epidemic regulations. After the new regulation comes into effect, the department will focus initially on publicity and education as well as providing advice, and will closely monitor the implementation of the 'vaccine bubble'," the spokesman said.

     Also, according to the latest directions under Cap. 599F, for catering business operators arranging their staff to undergo a polymerase chain reaction-based nucleic acid test for COVID-19, combined nasal and throat swabs must be used for specimens collected on or after today. The online registration for the current free deep throat saliva testing service for frontline staff of catering businesses provided by the FEHD will cease at 5pm tomorrow (April 30) as scheduled. Frontline staff of catering businesses can continue to make use of the specimen collection services by combined nasal and throat swabs at the 21 community testing centres and mobile specimen collection stations across the territory for testing. For details, please refer to the webpage (www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/early-testing.html).

     In addition, apart from the regular testing services provided for practitioners working at Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse, the free COVID-19 testing services will continue to be arranged by the FEHD for targeted groups (including high-exposure groups such as staff and personnel working in markets, licensed hawkers and practitioners of cold stores), and the deadline for online registration for the scheme has been extended to May 31. People in high-exposure groups who have already registered and undergone testing may register again. The testing agency (Prenetics Limited) will be responsible for the provision of one-stop services covering specimen taking and testing. For details of the testing programme, please call the hotline of the testing agency at 3008 8319 or visit the FEHD's website (www.fehd.gov.hk/english/events/covid19_test/info_20200926.html).

     Furthermore, the FEHD is launching another one-stop thematic webpage to put together all relevant information relating to air change in restaurants, including the video record of the webinar held earlier, for the trade's ease of reference. The directions in relation to the catering business that take effect today set out that after submitting an application for extension of time, a catering business operator must complete the registration within the deadline specified in the FEHD's reply. In the meantime, the premises which has submitted such an application will not be regarded as not adopting the air change requirement, and hence the corresponding measures for reducing the risk of transmission will not affect it. The FEHD will handle separately those cases where an application for extension of time has not been made, or that the application has been rejected, or that no follow up action has been taken within the extended time limit specified by the FEHD for completing the registration, etc.
Ends/Thursday, April 29, 2021
Issued at HKT 18:45
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