Transcript of remarks by CS at media session (with video)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr John Lee, at a media session today (November 1):
Reporter: Can you tell us more why diplomats are exempted (from quarantine arrangements)? And also because the business sector has already voiced very strong opposition, how would you allay their concerns? And also for the “LeaveHomeSafe” app, among those arrested some are government officials. Why do you find them unacceptable?
Chief Secretary for Administration: First of all, let me answer the last question, which is about the “LeaveHomeSafe” mobile app usage which starts today in government buildings. I hope that the public will appreciate that all we try to do is to ensure that overall, we have an effective strategy to do contact tracing, to ensure that we can, at the first instance, be able to catch whoever may be infected or subject to that risk, so that we can control and prevent it from being spread and also prevent people from unnecessarily getting the possibility of having to go into a quarantine centre. The intention is to ensure that we have an effective system.
     As regards the exemption classes that we have now decided to cancel, we have retained the classes of people who are closely connected to the daily necessities and the daily running of society and also to ensure that governmental operation can proceed as it should, so as to ensure overall effective governance. We have previously confirmed cases involving consulate staff. We actually had two cases in which the consular staff or their family members were infected. And because the possibility of the Delta virus being so unpredictable and spreading the disease in an even stronger way, we have to do what is necessary to ensure that this risk is reduced. That is why we have decided to retain only those classes of people who are so closely related to the daily running of society and the necessities of society, and for governmental functions to continue. We are doing this to ensure that the risk is reduced to the minimal, because as you can see, the cases that occurred in Hong Kong (these days) are imported cases, and we have to ensure that the risk of the whole society being affected by such infected cases is kept to the minimum.
     Thank you very much. 
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Monday, November 1, 2021
Issued at HKT 19:05