Govt to tighten testing rules for care home staff

The government said on Sunday that it will tighten regular testing requirement for care home staff who are not vaccinated against Covid-19.

Writing in his blog, Labour and Welfare Secretary Law chi-kwong noted that care home workers who are not inoculated are currently required to undergo coronavirus tests every 14 days.

But he said since the overall vaccination rate in Hong Kong is going up, the number of people who have to undergo mandatory tests regularly has decreased, and this has thus freed up more testing capacity.

Law said that’s why the government decided to shorten the intervals for care home workers’ regular tests from once every 14 days to every 10 days starting from 25 June, adding it will be further reduced to once every seven days when circumstances allow.

He said a HK$200 monthly allowance for care home workers to get tested will also be cancelled, as the subsidy may discourage them from getting jabs.

Instead, Law noted the government has already announced that a one-off special allowance of HK$800 will be granted to fully vaccinated staff.

He said up until 15 June, around 30 percent of care home workers in Hong Kong have had at least one shot, which is far from the percentage required to achieve herd immunity.