'Health code won't work without trust in government' - RTHK
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'Health code won't work without trust in government'

2021-12-03 HKT 09:04
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  • 'Health code won't work without trust in government'
An academic has warned that the SAR's newly-launched health code system will not work effectively if the government fails to cultivate public trust.

Kris Hartley, an assistant professor of public management and administration at the Education University, was commenting on Friday, a day after officials unveiled the health code system to be used for quarantine-free travel to the mainland.

People can sign up for the system from Friday next week and will have to upload records of where they've been from the government's LeaveHomeSafe app, as well as proof of address and their real name. They'll be assigned a colour based on their risk of contracting Covid-19. A green code will be needed to cross the border.

Speaking on RTHK's Hong Kong Today programme, Hartley said the core issue wasn't about trust in the technology, but in those who manage it.

"Trust in technology is affected by trust in government itself," he told RTHK's Samantha Butler. "And it's actually going to take the public trust in order to get this health code to actually be effective.

"In parts of the world experiencing some type of political division, for example like in the US, there's been less universal trust in Covid mandates.

"And here in Hong Kong I think we can't ignore some of the recent struggles the government's had in gaining public trust, so this can certainly translate into scepticism about technology, and the government must address that and overcome that."

People using the new code will have to switch to the mainland or Macau version of the health code when they cross the border.

At a press conference on Thursday, officials said people who have no plans to visit the mainland won't have to download the Hong Kong health code or update their LeaveHomeSafe app to the latest version.