‘Tests every 3 days may hit civil service manpower’

The head of the Federation of Civil Service Unions, Leung Chau-ting, says a plan to require unvaccinated government staff to get tested every three days may affect services, and has asked the government to consider relaxing it to once every five days.

The government announced on Tuesday that from December 28, government employees who have not taken a first dose of coronavirus vaccine will have to get tested for Covid-19 every three days instead of once a week, and they have to do so outside working hours and pay for it themselves unless they have doctor’s proof that they can’t be jabbed.

Leung told an RTHK programme on Wednesday that more than 90 percent of civil servants are already vaccinated and he believes those who aren’t probably can’t be, due to health reasons.

“Under such circumstances, the government should make accommodations with the resources we have now. Can clinics stay open in the evening for colleagues to get tested? Actually it would be okay if they can open until 8 o’clock,” he said.

Leung said even if supervisors allow staff to go for a test during office hours, it may affect services, and the workers would not be protected by any labour laws if any accidents happened.

“Can it be once every five days? So they can be tested on Saturday? That way it would be more convenient for everyone. Three days a test would create manpower issues. I hope the government would give some allowance for our colleagues,” he said.