Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that the government has not actually made up its mind on whether to go ahead with its plan to require all foreign domestic workers to be vaccinated against coronavirus in the future.
The plan was announced on Friday, as the administration also demanded that all helpers get tested for the virus by May 9.
But before this week's Executive Council meeting, Lam said the plan’s justifications and its feasibility is being reviewed by the Labour and Welfare Bureau.
Officials will “consult the experts and the consuls-general of embassies of foreign domestic workers’ home countries [as to] whether this could be done, and whether doing it would create many other problems,” she said.
Migrant workers’ groups have slammed the plan, which would require all foreign domestic workers to be inoculated in order to secure a visa renewal, saying it amounts to stigmatism.
The decision to order mandatory tests for the city’s 370,000 migrant domestic workers, was defended by Lam though, who insisted that it was not discriminatory.
“Among four cases of Covid variants that have spread into the community, two involve foreign domestic workers,” she said.
“In addition, foreign domestic workers do have a habit of attending gatherings at weekends, and their work involves close contact with and taking care of young children and elderly people, so proper measures have to be taken considering our risk assessment.”
She added the policy is in line with the government's past infection control measures, saying tens of thousands of care home workers are also required to get tested every two weeks.