Homeless people exempted from new app rule

The government says homeless people who don’t have a smart phone will be exempted from the mandatory use of the LeaveHomeSafe app if they have a certificate issued by some NGOs.

Diane Wong, Deputy Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene, said the government has been in talks with these groups.

“The government has been following up with groups that provide services to this type of people, and will soon finalise the arrangement. We will then allow these groups to issue certificates as soon as possible. So these people can show the certificates when they enter the premises,” she said.

The mandatory use of the app will be expanded to cover all restaurants from December 9, as well as in gyms, hotels, cinemas and other regulated premises, and people will not have the option of filling in paper forms unless they are exempted.

Wong told an RTHK programme that people with disability are among those exempted, and staff members of the premises should use their common sense to decide in case the disability is not obvious – such as hearing impairment or mentally handicapped.

If in doubt, the staff could call the police, she said.

People aged 65 or above or people aged 15 or below can jot down their information on paper forms if they cannot use the app.