RAT requirement in public hospitals and residential care homes to be lifted this Saturday

     The Government announced today (March 22) that, as the COVID-19 epidemic continues to subside, the existing rapid antigen testing (RAT) requirement applicable to public hospitals as well as residential care homes for the elderly (RCHEs) and the residential care homes for persons with disabilities (RCHDs) will be lifted this Saturday (March 25). Visitors of public hospitals, RCHEs and RCHDs will not be required to undergo an RAT prior to their visits, whereas clinical staff of public hospitals as well as staff and residents of residential care homes (RCHs) will no longer be required to undergo an RAT on a daily basis.

     To sustain the protection for targeted groups and key premises as well as to reduce the risk of virus transmission, the Government reminded that all visitors and staff of public hospitals and RCHs should continue to wear a mask in these premises. Members of the public should observe personal hygiene, hand hygiene and keep the environment clean. Those with symptoms should not visit public hospitals, RCHEs and RCHDs, and should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

     A Government spokesman said, "In the light of the full resumption of normalcy in society, the Government's strategies for managing the COVID-19 epidemic have entered into a new stage and a new mode. COVID-19 is now being treated and managed as an upper respiratory tract illness. The lifting of the RAT requirement in public hospitals and RCHs is in line with the latest epidemic development and risk management principle, on par with the measures for managing other upper respiratory tract illnesses. The Government will continue to closely monitor COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, enhance management measures and guidelines, as well as safeguard public health."

Ends/Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Issued at HKT 20:22