Judiciary revises Vaccine Pass arrangement for entering court buildings

The following is issued on behalf of the Judiciary:
     In light of the Government's recent announcement on addition of the Red Code and Amber Code into the Vaccine Pass, the Judiciary announced today (August 12) its latest Vaccine Pass arrangement for entry into Judiciary premises. The aim is to ensure that the courts will continue to carry on business as safely as circumstances permit.

     With immediate effect, holders of a Red Code (i.e. confirmed COVID cases) will not be allowed in any Judiciary premises. Holders of an Amber Code (i.e. inbound persons under medical surveillance) with positive Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) results that day or who have not taken any RAT that day should not come to any Judiciary premises either.

     For other court users holding an Amber Code, they may enter Judiciary premises on the understanding that they comply with the Government's relevant requirements. In particular, they are reminded to obtain the negative results of their RATs before coming to any Judiciary premises that day. They also need to strictly observe all anti-epidemic measures for Judiciary premises, including mask-wearing (unless otherwise permitted by a Judge or Judicial Officer (JJO)) and mandatory body temperature checks. 
     With effect from next Monday (August 15), any Amber Code holders who are essential court users attending court hearings (Note 1) and may have to speak with their masks off (such as witnesses when giving testimony) should alert the relevant JJO to their Amber Code status before the hearing as far as practicable. The presiding JJO may give appropriate directions, including requiring the court users concerned to produce an image of the RAT outcome of the day. The relevant legal representative(s), if any, should help their witnesses to report such situation to the Court as appropriate. Details are shown at the Annex.

     The present arrangement of requiring certain essential court users (Note 2) for jury proceedings to carry out RAT tests every day to enhance public health protection will continue.
Note 1: Essential court users include parties, legal teams, witnesses and jurors.
Note 2: Such essential court users include jurors, legal teams and prosecuting authorities.
Other public health measures

     Since May 31, 2022, unless exempted, all persons must be vaccinated according to the Government's Dosage Schedule for Vaccine Pass, and use the "LeaveHomeSafe" mobile App before they are allowed to enter Judiciary premises. Exemptions from the Vaccine Pass arrangement will continue to be granted to the following persons:

(a) children aged under 12;
(b) holders of the COVID-19 Vaccination Medical Exemption Certificate;
(c) persons who must enter the relevant Judiciary premises to attend to court business on the day as parties to or witnesses in a legal proceeding; and
(d) legal representatives with prior permission by the presiding Judge or Judicial Officer concerned to attend a hearing on behalf of their clients.

     The Judiciary will continue to conduct active checking of the Vaccine Pass at the points of entry by using the QR Code Verification Scanner mobile application developed by the Government for scanning the relevant QR code and keeping the record for 31 days. Court users are advised to allow additional time for checking when they come to the Judiciary premises for court business.
     The Judiciary will continue to closely monitor the public health situation with a view to putting in place timely and appropriate measures. Court users should check the Judiciary website (www.judiciary.hk) for updated information, and follow the instructions of the Judiciary staff and security personnel.

     For enquiries, court users may call the following hotlines during office hours:
General Information: 2869 0869
Court of Final Appeal: 2123 0123
High Court: 2523 2212
Probate: 2840 1683
Competition Tribunal: 2825 0426
District Court: 2845 5696
Family Court: 2840 1218
Lands Tribunal: 2771 3034
Labour Tribunal: 2625 0020
Small Claims Tribunal: 2877 4068
Magistrates' Courts: 2677 8373
Obscene Articles Tribunal: 3916 6303
Coroner's Court: 3916 6204

Ends/Friday, August 12, 2022
Issued at HKT 13:02