Updated arrangements for RCHs in response to removal of Vaccine Pass requirement
(1) Visitation arrangements and group outing arrangements for RCH residents
The Vaccine Pass requirement in RCHs has been removed. Vaccine Pass is no longer required for visitors/residents participating in outing activities.
On visitation arrangements, all visitors are still required to undergo polymerase chain reaction-based nucleic acid tests for COVID-19 (PCR tests) within 48 hours prior to the visit, and provide negative PCR test results in order to visit RCHs.
For residents who have not received any COVID-19 vaccines or have received less than two vaccine doses, or residents who can produce medical certificates to prove their unsuitability for receiving COVID-19 vaccines due to health reasons, COVID-19 rapid antigen tests (RATs) at designated area of RCHs are required for their visitors prior to the visits. They must present negative RAT results, in addition to negative PCR test results, in order to visit RCHs.
For residents who have recovered from COVID-19 within three months (starting from the 14th day after receiving confirmation of infection), or residents who have received at least two vaccine doses, or can produce medical certificates to prove their unsuitability for receiving COVID-19 vaccines due to health reasons, RCHs can suitably determine the number of visits for these residents based on RCHs' actual circumstances (e.g. available space or facilities). For residents who have not received any vaccine doses or residents who have received less than two doses, RCHs should limit the number of their visits to not more than twice a week.
Arrangements for visits on compassionate grounds and official reasons remain unchanged.
RCHs should continue to ensure strict compliance with infection prevention measures when organising outings for residents in a group. Crowded destinations and mask-off activities (such as eating or drinking) should be avoided.
(2) Vaccination requirement for RCH staff
The vaccination requirements for all staff members in RCHs for the elderly and RCHs for persons with disabilities have been removed. However, to safeguard the health of RCH residents and staff, RCH staff members are still required to comply with the relevant testing requirements, which include conducting RATs and obtaining negative results prior to work as well as undergoing a compulsory PCR test every two days.
(3) Vaccination requirements for new RCH residents
The vaccination requirements for new RCH residents remain unchanged. In other words, all persons newly admitted to RCHs for long-term abode (excluding emergency or residential respite services) must have received at least the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in order to be admitted, unless COVID-19 Vaccination Medical Exemption Certificates issued by doctors can be produced to prove their unsuitability to receive vaccination. The newly admitted residents who have only received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine are still required to complete COVID-19 vaccination within the specified period counting from the day when the first dose is received in order to remain eligible for residing in the RCHs.
The SWD has informed all RCH operators of the above-mentioned arrangements. It has urged them to strengthen communication with staff members, residents and their families and explain the updated arrangements to them in a clear manner.
Ends/Thursday, January 5, 2023
Issued at HKT 20:15
Issued at HKT 20:15