New arrangements for nucleic acid testing service to commence from Wednesday

     ‚ÄčThe Government reminded members of the public today (February 27) that the nucleic acid testing requirement for public hospitals, residential care homes for the elderly (RCHEs) and residential care homes for persons with disabilities (RCHDs) will be replaced by rapid antigen tests (RATs) starting from Wednesday (March 1). Following the complete lifting of compulsory nucleic acid testing requirements, free nucleic acid testing service in the community testing network will cease accordingly from the same day onwards. A total of 21 community testing centres and community testing stations (CTC/CTSs) will be retained for provision of self-paid nucleic acid testing service to members of the public from 10am to 8pm daily (closed from 1.30pm to 2pm/2.30pm for deep cleaning and disinfection).
     Starting from March 1, the nucleic acid testing requirement applicable to staff and visitors of public hospitals, RCHEs and RCHDs as well as residents of residential care homes (RCHs) will be changed to RATs. Visitors of public hospitals and RCHs only need to undergo an RAT within 24 hours prior to their visit and obtain a negative result for entry. Clinical staff of public hospitals as well as staff and residents of RCHs should continue to undergo an RAT once a day, with a view to maintaining protection for targeted groups and key premises.
     To provide convenience to members of the public who need to undergo nucleic acid testing due to travelling or personal needs (such as certifications for work), 21 CTC/CTSs with higher usage (see Annex) will remain in operation to offer self-paid nucleic acid testing service, whereas free nucleic acid testing service will be ceased.
     Travellers in need may also choose to undergo self-paid testing at the rapid nucleic acid testing centre which operates 24 hours a day at Hong Kong International Airport. Testing results will be available within two hours.
     The Government will continue to maintain close communication with testing contractors and review the society's demand for nucleic acid tests. The number and operation mode of testing facilities will be adjusted in a timely manner according to actual circumstances, such that the society will keep making steady strides along the path to normalcy.

Ends/Monday, February 27, 2023
Issued at HKT 11:30