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LCQ18: Mutual recognition of vaccination records
     ​Following is a question by the Hon Alice Mak and a written reply by the Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan, in the Legislative Council today (June 9):
     Some members of the public have indicated that they have received vaccination against COVID-19, with a view to their travelling between Hong Kong and the Mainland, when traveller clearance between the two places fully resumes, without being required to undergo compulsory quarantine. Nevertheless, as the types of vaccines administered to the people of the two places and the vaccination records held by them as proof are different, such members of the public are worried that in the absence of a mechanism for mutual recognition of the vaccination records of the two places, it will be difficult for the people of both places to resume normal travel between the two places. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) whether it has discussed with the relevant Mainland departments the establishment of a mechanism for mutual recognition of the vaccination records of the two places, so as to prepare for the full resumption of traveller clearance between the two places; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;
(2) whether it has discussed with the relevant Mainland departments the conditions for the full resumption of traveller clearance (e.g. the types of vaccines recognised, and whether inbound travellers will be required to undergo antibody tests) to let members of the public have a clear target, so as to increase the incentives for them to receive vaccination; and
(3) whether it will add a new function to the electronic vaccination records to allow inclusion of records of non-locally received vaccinations to facilitate holders of the vaccination records to prove that they have completed vaccination?
     In consultation with the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau, my reply to the various parts of the question raised by Hon Alice Mak is as follows:
     The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has been communicating and liaising closely with the relevant authorities in the Mainland and Macao Special Administrative Region Government on disease prevention and control measures. We are actively exploring the resumption of normal cross-boundary activities amongst residents of the three places in a gradual and orderly manner when the epidemic situation in the three places is under control and without increasing public health risks.
     Currently, non-fully vaccinated persons arriving at Hong Kong who have stayed in the Mainland and Macao, whether arriving in Hong Kong via the airport or land boundary control points, are subject to 14-day compulsory quarantine at home if they did not return under the Return2hk Scheme, and five compulsory tests after arrival in Hong Kong. As regards fully vaccinated persons, the compulsory quarantine period is shortened to seven days, with a subsequent seven-day self-monitoring period and three compulsory tests after arrival in Hong Kong.
     Fully vaccinated persons means persons who have received the necessary doses as stipulated in guidelines of a COVID-19 vaccination course 14 days prior to their arrival in Hong Kong. For persons arriving in Hong Kong whose vaccines were administered outside Hong Kong, apart from the COVID-19 vaccines already recognised for use in Hong Kong, vaccines on the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Use Listing or Pre-qualification lists, as well as vaccines recognised for use by Stringent Regulatory Authorities as designated by the WHO or the National Medical Products Administration would also be accepted. The Government has uploaded the list of relevant vaccines to the COVID-19 thematic website, and will update the list from time to time.
     For those who have completed vaccination outside of Hong Kong with vaccines on the aforementioned list, currently they can present their vaccination records issued by relevant local authorities and complete a declaration form to meet the requirements under the vaccine bubble. We are considering ways to further facilitate Hong Kong residents to make use of their non-local vaccination records.
Ends/Wednesday, June 9, 2021
Issued at HKT 15:45
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