Mainland personnel exempt from licensing needs: govt

The government on Thursday gazetted emergency laws that will waive licensing and registration requirements for mainland personnel involved in anti-epidemic work in Hong Kong.

In a statement, authorities said the gazettal of the Emergency (Exemption from Statutory Requirements) Regulation under the Emergency Regulations Ordinance will provide a legal basis for Hong Kong to draw on the mainland’s support and resources to fight the pandemic, including the construction of hospitals and isolation facilities.

Under the regulation which has since taken effect, these projects will also be exempt from complying with the city’s statutory requirements.

Officials said the regulation is needed because Hong Kong is in a very dire Covid situation, and the healthcare system, manpower and facilities will soon be insufficient to cope with the surging number of patients.

“The regulation … [is] made with a view to allowing the Government to exempt certain persons or projects from all relevant statutory requirements in respect of licensing, registration and application, etc., such that the HKSAR government may draw on mainland’s support and resources in a flexible and prompt manner to undertake key anti-epidemic projects at full speed when necessary,” the government said.