Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor holds a press conference at the Central Government Offices on Aug 31, 2021 .(RAYMOIND CHAN / CHINA DAILY)
HONG KONG – The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government plans to open Penny’s Bay Quarantine Centre for returning foreign domestic helpers by the end of Sept, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said Tuesday.
Speaking to the press before the Executive Council meeting, Lam said 800 rooms in Phase 1 and 2 of Penny’s Bay will be available for FDHs.
The government has allowed FDHs stranded in the Philippines and Indonesia to come back to Hong Kong after reaching an arrangement to recognize the vaccination records of these two countries
“Each unit is like a hotel room. The quality is quite good… There is an abundance of work to be done. We intend to run the facility ourselves,” Lam said.
“At the end of Sept, it will be commissioned but that does not mean booking will start at the end of Sept,” she added.
Lam said the Civil Aid Service and other departments will help in running the facility. The government had designated one quarantine hotel, with 400 rooms, for FDHs.
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“I know there are employees waiting for them to come back to take care of their families…This will go a long way to help families who have used foreign domestic helpers,” Lam said.
The government allowed FDHs stranded in the Philippines and Indonesia to come back to Hong Kong after reaching an arrangement to recognize the vaccination records of these two countries.
Lam downplayed suggestions to ease Hong Kong’s stringent border restrictions, noting that the pandemic situation was “worsening” outside the SAR.
“We will try to make our measures more humane whenever possible but to relax altogether the restrictions for arrivals is not a wise move for Hong Kong,” Lam said.
“The COVID situation is getting worse outside Hong Kong. Of course, Hong Kong people would like to resume their cross-boundary activities, even if subject to a quota system, but we have to do everything in an orderly manner,” she added.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong reported two more imported COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the city’s tally to 12,112.
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The Centre for Health Protection said in a statement that the new cases involved a two-year-old girl who traveled from Turkey and a 39-year-old man who arrived from Greece.
The man had received two vaccine doses in Hong Kong on March 23 and April 13 and tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies on July 13, the CHP said.
There were a total of 74 cases reported from Aug 17 to 30, including a local untraceable infection while the rest were imported, it added.
According to the Hospital Authority, a total of 72 patients were being treated as of Tuesday in 10 public hospitals and the North Lantau Hospital Hong Kong Infection Control Centre, including one patient in serious condition.