'Government doesn't want to see sackings over jabs' - RTHK
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'Government doesn't want to see sackings over jabs'

2021-04-13 HKT 09:39
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  • 'Government doesn't want to see sackings over jabs'
Health minister Sophia Chan says officials will, from this week, discuss details of Hong Kong's new "vaccine bubble" with the trades concerned. The scheme, which relaxes some Covid-19 social distancing measures, was announced on Monday by the Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

Lam said people who had been vaccinated would enjoy a further easing of social distancing restrictions that could see bars, karaokes and nightclubs reopen, large banquets resume and travel restrictions eased.

The CE offered no dates as to exactly when the new measures would take effect.

Speaking on an RTHK programme on Tuesday morning, Chan said among the things up for discussion was how restaurants would handle customers who had medical proof that they were not suitable to be vaccinated, or who were below 16 and not included in the inoculation programme.

When asked whether there was still room for changes to the vaccination bubble idea, Chan said the framework had been set by the CE.

When asked whether employers could sack workers who refuse to get vaccinated, the minister said officials would discuss the matter with the trades concerned.

"Of course that is not our intent, number one, and [sacking] is not a situation that we want to see," Chan said, again referring to discussions about having medical proof for workers not suitable for vaccination.

She said restaurants that preferred not to take part in the vaccination bubble were free to do so. However, they would have to continue with existing restrictions, such as closing at 10 pm and serving a maximum of four to a table.

The health chief said the option of relaxing social distancing measures was not just for the catering industry, but also for hospital and hostel visits, religious activities, and banquets.

The minister added that people should install a smartphone app developed by the Innovation and Technology Bureau called iAMSmart. She said it could record the users' vaccination information.