Govt warns it can break in and grab people for tests - RTHK
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Govt warns it can break in and grab people for tests

2021-02-02 HKT 11:53
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  • The government says the authorities can break into flats and forcibly remove people if necessary. File photo: AFP
    The government says the authorities can break into flats and forcibly remove people if necessary. File photo: AFP
The government warned on Tuesday that the authorities could break into people's homes and forcibly remove them if they don't answer the door during ambush lockdowns.

In a statement, the administration complained that during recent lockdown operations, some residents of the buildings involved did not open their doors to officials coming round to order coronavirus tests.

"There are reasons to believe that people were inside the units," the statement said.

It then listed the various moves the authorities can take if they encounter such situations, including "removing individuals" and applying to a magistrate for a warrant to "break into and forcefully enter a unit".

"The government will continue to restrict all persons from entering or leaving the relevant premises as prescribed by law and relevant instruments, and arrange for security guards to be stationed if necessary," the statement said.

"The government will also request bailiffs to assist in cordoning off the relevant premises as appropriate, and will request relevant persons to be responsible for the charges incurred."

The authorities have carried out several surprise overnight lockdowns so far, on most occasions failing to find any coronavirus infections among those residents tested.

On Monday, Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung said there would be at least one such lockdown every day until February 10.

Hours after he spoke, the authorities launched four simultaneous operations in various parts of the city. No infected people were found.

Twenty people who had allegedly failed to comply with an earlier coronavirus testing order were each fined HK$5,000.