FEHD reminds operators and patrons of catering premises and operators and staff of scheduled premises to comply with latest social distancing measures to take effect shortly

     A spokesman for the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) said today (August 27) that the Government announced yesterday (August 26) the gazettal under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions)(Business and Premises) Regulation, which will require customers participating in a banquet activity to undergo a rapid antigen test (RAT) for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) conducted within the preceding 24 hours and present the negative result before they are allowed to enter the catering premises. The current testing requirements applicable to staff of catering premises will be extended to staff of scheduled premises (including commercial bathhouse, place of public entertainment, swimming pool and market, etc.): all staff of scheduled premises are required to undergo a RAT every three days before entering the premises. The spokesman reminded relevant operators, staff and patrons to observe and comply with the new requirement as well as other applicable regulations and restrictions.

Catering Premises

     The new requirement above will be applicable to customers entering catering premises to participate in a banquet activity, starting at 0.00am tomorrow (August 28). The relevant customer shall mark on the RAT testing kit his/her name as well as the date and time of taking the test. He/she shall take a photo of the testing kit and save it in his/her mobile phone for checking by the operators before entering the premises, and for inspection by authorised officers upon request. If the customer possesses a SMS notification (mobile phone text message) containing the result of a PCR test, the result of which is negative, and the SMS was issued within the 48 hours preceding his/her entry into the catering premises, then he/she would be taken to have complied with the requirements pertaining to undergoing the RAT.

     The relevant customers have to comply with the RAT requirement from tomorrow. However, there will be an adaptation period of seven days (until September 3) for the operators of catering premises to get used to the relevant requirements and make preparation.

     In response to enquiries from the trade and the public, the Government explains that "banquet" refers to a situation with customers exceeding the number allowed to be seated together at one table (the existing requirement is not exceeding eight customers) and dining together at the catering premises with a common purpose. For illustration, the requirements pertaining to undergoing the RAT does not apply to eight customers dining together at two tables, but apply to nine customers dining together at two tables.

Scheduled Premises

     All staff (including recovered person or staff members holding COVID-19 Vaccination Medical Exemption Certificates) must conduct RAT every three days before entering the premises.

     The FEHD has updated the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in its Vaccine Pass thematic webpage for reference by relevant operators, staff and patrons. For details, please browse the following webpage (www.fehd.gov.hk/english/events/covid19/vaccine_bubble_faq.html).

     The spokesman said, "To minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission and epidemic rebound, we strongly appeals to all sectors of the community to stay vigilant and comply with the relevant regulations on prevention and control of disease in a concerted and persistent manner. We have strengthened our publicity efforts and will continue to take stringent enforcement actions. All sectors are reminded to exercise self-discipline and co-operate to fight the virus together."

Ends/Saturday, August 27, 2022
Issued at HKT 19:25