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Government enforces "restriction-testing declaration" and compulsory testing notice in respect of specified "restricted area" in Lai Kuk House, Lai Kok Estate, Sham Shui Po
     The Government yesterday (March 15) exercised the power under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Compulsory Testing for Certain Persons) Regulation (Cap. 599J) to make a "restriction-testing declaration" effective from 4pm yesterday, under which people within the specified "restricted area" in Sham Shui Po (i.e. Lai Kuk House, Lai Kok Estate, Sham Shui Po) (hereafter referred to as "persons subject to compulsory testing") were required to stay in their premises and undergo compulsory testing. Persons subject to compulsory testing are required to stay in their premises until all such persons identified in the "restricted area" have undergone testing and the test results are mostly ascertained. All persons in the "restricted area" who were tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus on or after December 31, 2021, were not required to undergo testing in this compulsory testing exercise.

     In addition, the Government issued a compulsory testing notice yesterday. Any person, other than those specified above, who had been present at the above building for more than two hours from March 2 to March 15, 2022, to undergo compulsory testing on or before March 17, 2022, even if they were not present in the "restricted area" at the time when the declaration took effect. The Government finished the compulsory testing exercise at around 11am today (March 16) and is now carrying out enforcement actions in the "restricted area" to verify that all people in the "restricted area" have undergone compulsory testing. The Government will further announce the revocation time of the declaration.

     Starting from around 11am today, persons in the specified "restricted area" who have undergone testing and are able to present SMS notifications with negative test results or wear wristbands as proof of having undergone testing may leave the "restricted area" through the designated exit after providing personal information to a prescribed officer.

     The Government set up temporary specimen collection stations in the "restricted area" yesterday and requested persons subject to compulsory testing to collect combined nasal and throat swab samples at the stations to undergo a COVID-19 virus test before 9pm yesterday. Around 738 people within the area had undergone testing, among which 86 cases tested preliminarily positive were found. The Government will issue isolation orders and arrange relevant persons to be admitted to community isolation facilities. The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health will also arrange to follow up.

     Regarding cases tested preliminarily positive in the specified "restricted area", the Government has provided, among others, additional food packs, disinfection products and surgical masks to such persons and their household members pending follow-up arrangement.

     Moreover, the Government also assigned staff to visit 455 households within the "restricted area", among which 43 households did not answer the door. The Government will take measures to follow up.

     The Government reiterates that enforcement actions will be taken seriously. Any person who fails to present an SMS notification with a test result or wear a wristband as proof of having undergone testing breaches the compulsory testing notice and may be liable to a fine of $10,000. The person will also be issued with a compulsory testing order, requiring him/her to undergo testing within a specified time frame. Failure to comply with the compulsory testing order or the "restriction-testing declaration" is an offence and the offender may be liable to a fine of level 4 ($25,000) and imprisonment for six months.
Ends/Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Issued at HKT 11:01
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