Schools to close for early summer break - RTHK
Temperature Humidity
News Archive Can search within past 12 months

Schools to close for early summer break

2022-02-22 HKT 21:58
Share this story facebook
  • Schools to close for early summer break
Students in Hong Kong will take an early summer break from next month instead of July, to free up schools for Covid-19 testing, vaccination and isolation purposes.

In announcing the arrangements on Tuesday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said classes - even online ones - for all kindergartens, primary, and secondary schools, including international schools, will be suspended until at least after the Easter break in mid April to control an "exponential" rise of infections which have overwhelmed healthcare facilities and resources.

By then, she said, students could return to school in a safe manner.

The last day of school for this academic year will be on August 12, before the new school year kicks off normally in September.

Tertiary institutions, however, are not included in the class suspension arrangement.

Lam said authorities are hoping the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education exams can still take place as scheduled on April 22.

In January, the government announced the English-speaking assessment for the citywide university entrance exams would be cancelled for the third straight year, due to the Omicron-driven fifth wave of infections. It had already announced the scrapping of the Chinese verbal exam.

With the "vaccine pass" arrangement coming into full force on Thursday, the CE said current social-distancing measures will be extended for another two months to April 20. They include the closure of scheduled premises such as bars, swimming pools, and beauty parlours, as well as a ban on dine-in services at restaurants after 6pm.

Some rules would be tightened even further, Lam said, with only two people allowed at each table in eateries during lunchtime, and scrapping exemptions for mask wearing during outdoor activities.

The chief executive said the government had all along, and would continue, to ride through the tough times with businesses affected by the city's toughest anti-virus rules to date.

"We will continue to help these enterprises as we did. In this wave alone, we have introduced two rounds of anti-epidemic fund assistance - AEF 5.0, AEF 6.0 - costing HK$30 billion," she said.

Flight bans on nine countries are also being extended to April 20 to prevent a surge of imported Covid cases. People are barred from travelling to Hong Kong from Australia, Britain, Canada, France, India, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United States.

Lam said authorities won't rule out banning passenger flights from more places in future.