Schools should break early for Lunar New Year: group

A group has called on the government to consider letting some civil servants work from home and allow schools to break early for the Lunar New Year to help rein in the spread of Covid-19.

The Hong Kong Round Table on People’s Livelihood surveyed 1,140 people earlier this month, and found that more than 75 percent of them think that there should be work-from-home arrangements for civil servants and class suspensions for all schools as the pandemic worsens.

Edwin Cheung, the Sai Kung district councillor who coordinated the survey, said schools should be allowed to break early for the Lunar New Year holiday.

“At this moment, children under 12 cannot get vaccinated. This group of children has [a higher] risk to get infected. In the first phase, we suggest schools for children under 12 to be suspended, because this is a very critical moment,” he said.

Cheung also called on the government to take the lead and allow civil servants, in particular those who aren’t working on the front line or providing emergency services, to work from home.

“The government can take the lead to persuade the private sector and bosses to allow employees with children to work from home. This can release their pressure and [make it] easier to carry out class suspension,” he said.

“We wish the Hong Kong government [can] take immediate action to stop the infection in the society. This is a very critical moment. We cannot wait and we wish the government can [act] promptly.”