The SAR government is about to tighten its anti-epidemic control at the border by requiring inbound travellers to use designated transport and undergo quarantine in selected hotels, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Saturday.
At present, incoming travellers are able to take public transport to the hotel of their choice for their 14-day quarantine.
But medical experts say this is a loophole that can increase the spread of Covid-19.
Speaking on a radio programme, the chief executive said officials would soon make changes.
"The measure will be comprehensively tightened... to a level that we will have selected hotels [for the travellers]. I know that [officials are] entering the final stage of discussion over the matter," she said.
Lam also said her cabinet was reviewing the penalty for individuals and businesses that break anti-epidemic measures. She said the penalty could be increased because of the threat to public health.
As to the idea of imposing mandatory testing for the whole population, Lam doubted whether this would be cost effective.
"We have to ask ourselves when you do a one-off testing for seven million people, what do we want to achieve? Even if we can find infected cases, does that mean we can cut the transmission links? That would only happen if the border is closed."
But she said workers in elderly care-homes would soon be included in the mandatory testing scheme and that staff would be required to take coronavirus tests regularly so they can continue to work and care for the frail elderly population.
Taxi drivers, meanwhile, will also be asked to take compulsory Covid-19 tests but they won't be forced to do it regularly, Lam added.
Testing packs will also be distributed at major MTR stations in future.
Separately, on the proposal to make all civil servants take an oath of allegiance in one go, Lam said she felt it was reasonable to do it en masse.
Selected hotels for quarantine to roll out soon: CE
2020-11-28 HKT 11:34
2021-01-19 HKT 03:50
2021-01-18 HKT 19:05
2021-01-18 HKT 17:57
2021-01-18 HKT 16:01
2021-01-18 HKT 12:46
2021-01-18 HKT 11:24
2021-01-17 HKT 22:24
2021-01-17 HKT 18:30
2021-01-17 HKT 16:01
2021-01-17 HKT 13:22
2021-01-17 HKT 08:51
2021-01-16 HKT 18:27
2021-01-16 HKT 16:22
2021-01-16 HKT 15:55