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Foreign domestic helpers who were fully vaccinated in Indonesia or the Philippines may come to work in Hong Kong
     The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today (August 26) announced that, starting on August 30, foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) who were fully vaccinated (see Note) in Indonesia or the Philippines may come to work in Hong Kong from Group A specified places.
     A government spokesman said, "We have concluded bilateral vaccination record recognition agreements with the Governments of Indonesia and the Philippines. Starting on August 30, FDHs who were fully vaccinated in these two countries may come to work in Hong Kong. They must present a vaccination record that has been affirmed by the relevant authorities of these two countries and undergo compulsory quarantine in a Designated Quarantine Facility (DQF) after arriving in Hong Kong."
     All FDHs who were fully vaccinated in Indonesia or the Philippines must present the following documents at boarding for a flight to Hong Kong:

(a) a recognised vaccination record issued by the Indonesian or Philippine authorities (samples are in Annex 1 and Annex 2). Records in other formats will not be accepted;
(b) a valid employment visa for FDHs issued by the Immigration Department (ImmD) of Hong Kong;
(c) negative result proof of a polymerase chain reaction-based nucleic acid test for COVID-19 with specimen collected within 72 hours before the scheduled time of departure of the aircraft; and
(d) confirmation of room reservation at a DQF for not less than 21 nights starting from the day of arrival in Hong Kong (the facility list is in Annex 3).
     The spokesman said, "Given that the global COVID-19 pandemic remains severe, the resumption of admission of FDHs to Hong Kong should be implemented in a gradual and orderly manner. As such, we will provide one hotel as a DQF (with a total of 409 rooms) at this stage for the use of FDHs who were fully vaccinated in Indonesia or the Philippines and have fulfilled the other requirements as mentioned above. Depending on demand and developments of the pandemic, the Government plans to gradually increase the number of DQF rooms in the future. The DQF will be open for use on August 30. Employers and employment agencies (EAs) can reserve rooms through email (info.tsuenwan@silkahotels.com) to the hotel from August 27 onwards. The hotel will adjust the number of rooms open for reservation each day having regard to the overall booking situation. The hotel will confirm with the persons making the reservation individually and arrange for them to complete the relevant procedures upon receipt of their bookings. Please visit the hotel website for details (www.silkahotels.com/silka-tsuen-wan). During room booking, the DQF will ask the person making the reservation to provide the FDH's passport copy, valid employment visa and recognised vaccination record to verify the identity of the FDH and confirm the authenticity of the vaccination record. FDHs will also need to provide the above documents for verification when they check into the facility."
     The Government reminds employers and EAs that they should not book tickets for their FDHs until they have successfully reserved rooms in a DQF. This is to avoid FDHs not being able to check into a DQF after arriving in Hong Kong. If employers or EAs booked rooms in other designated quarantine hotels (DQHs) by mistake, the relevant FDH will not be allowed to board for Hong Kong, and employers or EAs might lose money as the hotel might not be able to provide a refund. Also, the Government suggests that employers confirm the authenticity of their FDHs' vaccination records according to the instructions in Annex 1 and Annex 2 before booking tickets and DQF rooms. If an FDH is found to be coming to Hong Kong by using a fake vaccination record, the FDH might be sent to another quarantine facility and all fees paid will not be refunded.
     The Government also reminds FDHs to strictly adhere to the boarding and quarantine requirements. If an FDH is not able to meet the relevant requirements, the FDH will not be allowed to board for Hong Kong or may be denied entry into Hong Kong upon arrival. Under the Compulsory Quarantine of Persons Arriving at Hong Kong from Foreign Places Regulation (Cap. 599E), a person who knowingly or recklessly gives any information that is false or misleading in a material particular commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine at level 4 ($25,000) and to imprisonment for six months. If any suspected breach is detected, apart from conducting investigations and considering taking out prosecution, the Government will also notify the relevant consulates-general in Hong Kong, and the FDH's future applications to the ImmD for employment visas might be affected.
     As for FDHs who were fully vaccinated in Hong Kong, they are already allowed to come to work in Hong Kong from Group A specified places with effect from August 20 (www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202108/17/P2021081700867.htm). These FDHs have to undergo compulsory quarantine in DQHs. The lists of the fourth-cycle and fifth-cycle DQHs have been uploaded to the dedicated website (www.designatedhotel.gov.hk).
     The government spokesman also reminded other members of public that this arrangement is only applicable to FDHs holding relevant valid employment visas.
     The Government is grateful for the support of the Governments of Indonesia and the Philippines and their consulates-general in Hong Kong, and for the understanding and co-operation of FDHs and employers with the anti-epidemic measures.
     For enquiries, please contact the Labour Department through its hotline at 2717 1771 or by email to fdh-enquiry@labour.gov.hk.
Note: "Fully vaccinated" means that the suggested dosage has been administered in accordance with the relevant guidelines of a COVID-19 vaccination course at least 14 days prior to boarding for/arrival in Hong Kong. The relevant vaccines administered should be those included on the List of COVID-19 Vaccines Recognised for Specified Purposes (www.coronavirus.gov.hk/pdf/list_of_recognised_covid19_vaccines.pdf). Travellers who have recovered from previous COVID-19 infection will be required to receive one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in order to be considered as fully vaccinated.
Ends/Thursday, August 26, 2021
Issued at HKT 12:08
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