'Health code roll-out before National Day unlikely' - RTHK
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'Health code roll-out before National Day unlikely'

2020-09-28 HKT 15:52
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  • 'Health code roll-out before National Day unlikely'
Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung has said the chances of the authorities rolling out the health code and allowing cross-border travel before National Day – which is in three days' time – are unlikely.

Cheung made the comment on Monday as lawmakers debated the third round of the government’s anti-epidemic fund for the second day at Legco's Finance Committee meeting.

During the meeting, DAB chairwoman Starry Lee said the authorities have been talking about launching the health code for a long time, and asked Cheung if the roll-out was possible so that people could cross the border and travel to Macau or Guangdong for Mid-Autumn and National Day celebrations.

In response, Cheung said it was unlikely that borders could be reopened by Thursday, but he said government is aiming to reopen the borders as soon as the coronavirus situation in Hong Kong comes under control.

He said that when the government does roll out the health code, the first phase of the launch will cover family visits and business travellers, instead of cross-border tourists.

Cheung also said the government will study the possibility of subsidising coronavirus tests for the public after the DAB chairwoman raised concerns that the tests are too expensive for some people.

Finance Committee chairman Chan Kin-por had said he hoped lawmakers could come to a vote on the anti-epidemic agenda by the end of today.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Health Protection reported 10 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, taking the number of cases to 5,075 in Hong Kong so far. Among the newly reported infections, seven were imported and the remaining three were linked to previous cases.

Health authorities did not schedule a press briefing for the day because of an absence of cases that could not be traced.