'Govt can't force restaurant staff to get jab' - RTHK
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'Govt can't force restaurant staff to get jab'

2021-04-24 HKT 20:17
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  • 'Govt can't force restaurant staff to get jab'
The convenor of the Executive Council, Bernard Chan, has dismissed rumours that the government will soon impose further social distancing restrictions on people who have not been vaccinated.

He also said it's impossible to carry out drastic measures such as requiring all restaurant staff to get inoculated.

He made the comment after representatives from the catering industry met SAR officials on Friday to discuss matters including a further easing of infection control measures at restaurants, as part of the government’s plan to create “vaccine bubbles” in the city.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam had earlier floated the idea of letting vaccinated people enjoy a further easing of social distancing restrictions that could see bars and karaokes reopen and banquets resume.

As part of the "vaccine bubbles" plan, the government had proposed that restaurants that choose to serve only customers who have been fully vaccinated could let a maximum of 12 people sit at the same table.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Chan hinted that the government would not roll out drastic measures at one go.

He said since the overall vaccination rate in Hong Kong is still not high, the government will not expect all eateries to serve only those who have been vaccinated in the early phase of its vaccine bubble scheme.

He said it would also be impossible to require all restaurant staff to get vaccinated, adding that staff and their employers should discuss the matter between themselves.

The councilor said during the initial stage of the vaccine bubble plan, customers who have been vaccinated could be allowed to sit in a separate zone in a restaurant from those who have not.

He said he believes companies or the catering sector may also offer discounts to encourage their customers to get vaccinated.

But Chan also said that if the vaccination rate in Hong Kong remains low, it may become difficult for the city to connect to other places in future.