‘More quarantine hotels needed to bring in helpers’

Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong said on Sunday Hong Kong’s quota for foreign domestic helpers needs to be increased while stressing the need to tackle a shortage of hotel quarantine space.

In his blog, he explained that 1,138 rooms provided by the Regala Skycity Hotel from this month will be used to isolate foreign domestic helpers coming to Hong Kong after the government decided to reserve the Penny’s Bay Quarantine Centre for other arrivals.

Law said that means the number of helpers arriving here won’t go up sharply in the near term.

He also said the government is in talks with more hotels over helpers’ quarantine and hopes to make an announcement soon.

The labour minister pointed out that the number of helpers in Hong Kong has dropped from its peak of more than 400,000 two years ago to 350,000, and some locals have had to quit their jobs to take care of family members, which in turn affected the labour market and various industries.

Law said if the situation continues, it could affect Hong Kong’s economic recovery.