Update on Novel Coronavirus in Hong Kong

Author: Dutch Chamber of Commerce

Update November 30th:

Highlights:
From December 2 until December 15 
- Work-from-home for civil servants 
- Restaurants to close at 10pm; 2-person limit per table; 50% capacity limit 
- Wide range of venues to close (cinemas, theme parks, museums, amusement game centres, karaoke rooms, mah jong, swimming pools) 
- All face-to-face school classes suspended from December 2 till Christmas holiday 
- Compulsory tests for people who visited three specified premises  
- Medical practitioners empowered to order compulsory tests for suspected COVID-19 cases 
- Five more community testing centres to open 
- All Post Offices to distribute testing kits

A total of 6,239 cases of COVID-19 infections have been recorded since December. Among these cases, 5,340 were discharged and 109 were fatal cases, and 790 cases are still hospitalised or pending admission.

More useful information can be found under the following links:


Update November 23th:

Covid-19 cases are increasing, mainly due to an outbreak in Hong Kong dance clubs. A total of 5,629 cases of COVID-19 infections have been recorded now since December. Among these cases, 5,259 were discharged and 108 were fatal cases, and 262 cases are still hospitalised or pending admission.

Highlights last week:
- Ecuador and Germany added as high-risk places 
- Face-to-face Primary 1-3 classes suspended until Dec 6
- Compulsory testing for patrons of 14 specified dance halls 
- Tighter testing and isolation rules for air crew, sea crew and other exempted persons
- Inaugural HK - Singapore 'Air Travel Bubble' flight deferred for two weeks (until Dec 6)

From 22 - 26 November:
- Live performances and dancing banned in catering premises, pubs and clubs 
- Party rooms for social gatherings to be closed 

From November 26: 
- Bars, nightclubs, bath-houses to close 
- 40-person limit on indoor banquet functions 
- Live performances, dancing banned in meeting or functions rooms of clubhouses 
- 4-person limit for hotel rooms; 8 person limit for 1-bedroom suites 
- Catering premises required to apply for "LeaveHomeSafe" QR-code by December 2
- Group gathering limit of 4 in public 
- Compulsory mask wearing in public     


      Update November 16th:

      Government tightens social distancing measures starting today (Nov 16):
      - 4 people per table at restaurants, 2 people per table in bars
      - Masks to be worn for indoor exercise 
      - New limit of 4 people per hotel room (except members of same family); tighter rules on guest room access 

      A total of 5,459 cases of COVID-19 infections have been recorded since December. Among these cases, 5,194 were discharged and 108 were fatal cases, and 157 cases are still hospitalised or pending admission.


        Update November 9th:

        Highlights last week:
        - All visitors arriving from any country outside China must quarantine in hotel for 14 days from Nov 13   
        - Turkey added as high-risk place from Nov 13 
        - Group gathering limit of four remains in place   
        - Restaurant capacity at 75% 
        - Mask wearing remains mandatory in public - Community testing centres to open mid-November at HK Island, Kowloon, NT East and NT West 
        - Free testing services enhanced at General Outpatient Clinics 

        A total of 5,375 cases of COVID-19 infections have been recorded since December. Among these cases, 4,973 were discharged and 107 were fatal cases, and 124 cases are still hospitalised or pending admission.

        More useful information can be found under the following links:


        Update November 2nd:

        For 14 days in a row the local infections have been one or zero. The total number of confirmed coronavirus infections has now reached 5,331, of which 5,096 cases already discharged, 105  fatal cases and the remaining 130 cases still hospitalised or pending admission.

        Highlights this week:
        - Belgium added as high-risk place for arrivals from Nov 3 
        - Beaches to re-open on Nov 3 
        - Masks still required in public until Nov 5
        - Public group gathering limit of 4 in force until Nov 5


          Update October 28th:

          With only 1 daily local case, all traceable, for the last 10 days, more relaxation measures are to be expected soon. The total number of confirmed coronavirus infections has now reached 5,309, of which 5,053 cases already discharged, 105  fatal cases and the remaining 151 cases still hospitalised or pending admission.

          New relaxation this week of social distancing measures:
          Effective from Oct 30: 
          - Dine-in hours extended until 1.59am; table limit raised from 4 to 6 
          - Venue capacity for restaurants, entertainment venues (incl. theme parks) raised from 50% to 75% 
          - Live performances can resume   
          - Masks not required for exercise at indoor sports premises 


              Update October 19th:

              A total of 5,242 cases of COVID-19 infections have been recorded since December. Among these cases, 4,973 were discharged and 105 were fatal cases, and 164 cases are still hospitalised or pending admission.

              Highlights last week:
              - Social distancing measures were last week extended till October 22nd.
              - France and Russia were added as high-risk places for inbound visitors 
              - An in-principle agreement to establish a bilateral air travel bubble (ATB) with Singapore was announced last week. 
              The key features of the ATB are as follows: 
              (a) there are no restrictions on travel purpose; 
              (b) travellers under the ATB will be subject to mutually recognised COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction tests and would need to have negative test results; 
              (c) travellers under the ATB will not be subject to any quarantine or Stay-Home Notice requirements, or a controlled itinerary; 
              (d) travellers under the ATB will be required to travel on dedicated flights, i.e. these flights will only serve ATB travellers and no transit passengers or non-ATB travellers will be allowed on board; and 
              (e) the ATB can be scaled by adjusting the number of dedicated flights upwards or downwards, or even suspended, in line with the latest developments and COVID-19 situation in the two cities. 


                Update October 12th:

                A total of 5,176 cases of COVID-19 infections have been recorded since December. Among these cases, 4,914 were discharged and 105 were fatal cases, and 157 cases are still hospitalised or pending admission.

                Highlights last week:
                - Social distancing measures extended until Oct 15 
                  * Group gatherings of four 
                  * Mask wearing remains compulsory in public 
                - Community treatment facility at AsiaWorld-Expo completed 
                - Free testing centres set up in Lan Kwai Fong and TST bar areas 
                - Further financial support for catering establishments, cinemas, amusement centres 


                Update October 5th:

                A total of 5,114 cases of COVID-19 infections have been recorded since December. Among these cases, 4,861 were discharged and 105 were fatal cases, and 148 cases are still hospitalised or pending admission. Since last two weeks, daily new recorded infections have not risen above 10.

                Highlights last week:
                - New directions on social distancing: 
                  * Team sports of more than 4 allowed 
                  * Religious gatherings allowed from Oct 2 at 50% capacity 
                  * Group gathering limit of 4, mandatory mask wearing extended until Oct 8   
                - Regulations on quarantine and cross-boundary travel extended until 31 December 


                  Update September 28th:

                  The total number of confirmed coronavirus infections has now reached 5,033, of which 5,066 cases already discharged, 105  fatal cases and the remaining 175 cases still hospitalised or pending admission. Local infections have been below 5 daily since last two weeks, most new infections are now from imported cases again.

                  Highlights:
                  - Social distancing measures extended until October 1 
                  - UK added as high-risk place for arrivals from Oct 1
                  - Exports by value down 2.3%; imports down 5.7% y-o-y in Aug
                  - Live performances allowed from Oct 1, subject to health protection measures 
                  - Science Museum reopens with new exhibition on anti-virus innovations


                    Update Septenber 21st:

                    Highlights:

                    - Mass community testing wrap-up: 1,783,000 specimens collected, 45 infections discovered
                    - Social distancing measures further adjusted since September 18th: 
                       * Dining hours extended to midnight 
                       * Bars re-opened 
                       * Theme parks, exhibitions centres re-opened
                       * Swimming pools re-opened 
                       * Most leisure venues and museums are reopened in phases from September 18
                       * Mask wearing in public extended until Sept 24 

                    The total number of confirmed coronavirus infections has now reached 5,033, of which 4,630 cases already discharged, 103  fatal cases and the remaining 218 cases still hospitalised or pending admission. Local infections have been below 10 daily since last week, most new infections are now from imported cases again.

                    Third round of Anti-epidemic Fund
                    The Government has announced the introduction of the third round of Anti-epidemic Fund.  Among the relief measures, the Government will provide subsidies to 23 targeted business sectors directly affected by the Government’s anti-epidemic measures or hard-hit by the epidemic.
                    Please see https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/pdf/fund/Fact_Sheet_Relief_measures.pdf for details.


                      Update Septenber 14th:

                      Mass community testing was extended till September 14th. A total of 1,719,000 registered for testing (around 23% of population); 1,667,000 specimens tested so far; 23 were detected having the coronavirus. 

                      The total number of confirmed coronavirus infections has now reached 4,958, of which 4,630 cases already discharged, 100  fatal cases and the remaining 228 cases still hospitalised or pending admission.

                      Hong Kong International Airport among first few Asia Pacific airports to be accredited under the Airport Health Accreditation (AHA) program of the Airports Council International (ACI)program. The AHA program was established to support airports around the globe to introduce new hygiene measures against global standards aim in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. By assessing the new health measures and procedures of the airports in the areas including cleaning and disinfection, physical distancing, staff protection, physical layout, passenger communications and passenger facilities, the accreditation enables airports to demonstrate to passengers, staff, regulators, and governments that they are prioritizing health and safety in a measurable and an established manner. The program was launched in July 2020 and the accreditation is valid for the next 12 months.

                      Delivery Arrangements for Second Round of CuMask+™:
                      Hongkong Post said the delivery of CuMask+™ to the address provided by the main registrant, will commence on September 14.


                      Update Septenber 1st:

                      Last Friday, September 4th, the social distancing measures were eased further:
                      * Restaurants may remain open until 10pm 
                      * Gyms, massage parlours to re-open 
                      * Certain indoor sports facilities and more outdoor facilities to re-open
                      * Face-to-face classes to resume in two phases from 23 September  

                      Mass community testing: 1,132,000 registered online for specimen collection; 1,027,000 people are tested so far. 6 were detected having the coronavirus of which 4 were previously known. 

                      The total number of confirmed coronavirus infections has now reached 4879, of which 4451 cases already discharged, 96 fatal cases and the remaining 332 cases still hospitalised or pending admission.


                      Update August 31st:

                      Last week, the average daily number of cases has been below 25. The total number of confirmed coronavirus infections has now reached 4787, of which 4287 cases already discharged, 87 fatal cases and the remaining 413 cases still hospitalised or pending admission.

                      Bookings now open for community testing programme  (www.communitytest.gov.hk).


                        Update August 26th:

                        Social distancing measures extended from Aug 28, with some measures relaxed: 
                        * Dine-in services at catering established extended to 9pm 
                        * Cinemas, beauty parlours to re-open 
                        * Some outdoor sports with little physical contact to resume (e.g. tennis, golf, bowling, cycling, shooting, horse riding) 
                        * Masks may be removed during strenuous physical activities in public, and in country parks   


                        Update August 24th:

                        5 Days in a row the daily number of cases has been below 35. The total number of confirmed coronavirus infections has reached 4683 now, of which 4018 cases already discharged, 77 fatal cases and the remaining 588 cases still hospitalised or pending admission.

                        Highlights last week:
                        - Government services to gradually return to normal from Aug 24
                        - Free COVID-19 tests for FDH awaiting new contracts
                        - HKTB Wine & Dine Festival goes virtual; Cyclothon cancelled 
                        - HKMA relaxes mortgage measures on non-residential properties


                          Update August 17th:

                          After a few days having had cases below 50 a day, a new outbreak in the port has caused for a slight increase again. The total number of confirmed coronavirus infections has reached 4481 now, of which 3549 cases already discharged, 69 fatal cases and the remaining 837 cases still hospitalised or pending admission.

                          Highlights last week:
                          - Transit services for flights from Mainland to resume on Aug 15  
                          - Work from home for Government employees extended until August 23
                          - Social distancing measures extended until Aug 25


                          Update August 10th:

                          Highlights last week:
                          - Work from home for Government employees extended until August 16
                          - Extra measures to reduce health risks faced by foreign domestic helpers staying in boarding facilities of employment agencies
                          - Macao adjusts prevention and control measures for persons from Hong Kong
                          - Markets with high patronage rate have body temperature checking system installed. 

                          Since last 7 days, daily confirmed Covid-19 cases are back to two digits. Total of 4080 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong, of which 2847 cases already discharged, 52 fatal cases and the remaining 1181 cases still hospitalised or pending admission.


                          Update August 3rd:

                          For 12th day in a row, daily coronavirus infections continued to stretch into triple digits. For the first time, none of the infections were imported, due to government adaptions in rmeasures to close loopholes relating to incoming persons. Total of 3512 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong, of which 1959 cases already discharged, 34 fatal cases and the remaining 1502 cases still hospitalised or pending admission.

                          Yesterday, August 2nd, the new community treatment facility at AsiaWorld-Expo was opened, which will have room for an additional 500 beds for patients aged 18 to 60 with mild symptoms and able to live independently. Furthermore, A testing support team arrived from China to help set up  a temporary laboratory to meet the need of government to launch large-scale virus testing within community. 


                          Update July 27th:

                          Last week the situation worsened and we are now facing a total of 2634 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong, of which 1495 cases already discharged, 18 fatal cases and the remaining 1108 cases still hospitalised or pending admission.

                          Regulations to fight the virus have been tightened since last week with various public health regulations extended until December 31, including the expiry date for compulsory quarantine for persons arriving in Hong Kong from foreign places and group gathering. As part of a new restrictions, going into effect 29 July for at least one week, dining at restaurants will be banned entirely and the compulsory mask-wearing will be expanded to cover outdoor areas as well. Furthermore, social group gathering will be limited to two persons, with exemption of family members from the same household. The government is trying to avoid a complete lockdown and expects the number of cases to go down in a couple of weeks with the implementation of these tightened measures. Special work arrangement for Government employees is also extended to August 2nd.


                          Update July 20th:

                          As the situation of local transmissions is stil not under control, extra safety precautions have been announced as mandatory:

                          - Wearing a mask now mandatory in indoor public places, such as shopping centres;
                          - Civil servants to work from home this week, therefore only emergency and essential public services will be provided;
                          - Rules on restaurants extended for another week, till July 28: dine-in services banned from 6pm-5am and only four people per table allowed;
                          - About 200 more quarantine units will be built near HK Disneyland. AsiaWorld-Espo will be converted to house stable coronavirus patients and will accommodate elderly residents if outbreaks occur at more care homes.

                          All precautions announced last week are also still in effect.


                          Update July 14th:

                          Key points of tightened social-distancing rules to combat third wave:

                          - All public transport passengers required to wear masks, with offenders facing up to HK$5,000 fine. 
                          - Ban on dine-in service from 5am until 6pm. 
                          - Closure of bars and 12 other types of premises, including gyms, karaoke lounges, as well as Ocean Park and Disneyland. 
                          - Scale back public gatherings from 50 people to 4. 
                          - Empower health minister to require passengers from high-risk countries to produce test result showing they are free of Covid-19 before boarding flight to Hong Kong.

                          With the increase of local transmissions last week, the total number of Covid-19 cases recorded increased to 1886, of which 1294 cases already discharged, 12 fatal cases and the remaining 580 cases still hospitalised or pending admission.


                          Update July 13th:

                          Signs of Hong Kong's 'third wave' of coronavirus infections first appeared last week. Between July 5 and 12, there were 137 confirmed local Covid-19 cases according to the Centre of Health Protection data. Due to the increase of local transmissions the government introduced last Friday immediate suppression measures as well as extensive testing to control the outbreak.

                          A total of 1470 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded since 31 December 2019: 1214 cases already discharged, 7 fatal cases and the remaining 249 cases still hospitalised.


                           

                          Update July 6th:

                          Since last update, a number of new cases, most with travel history, have increased the total cases to 1269. Among these cases, 1156 were discharged and 7 were fatal cases, the remaining 106 cases were still hospitalized or pending for admission. 

                          D-Biz Programme Funding: Application is open till 6 pm 31 October 2020. Due to the overwhelming response of the Programme, the application process might take bit longer. Companies can use D-Biz funding to purchase or adopt technology solutions and related training. The subsidies can be used to set up online stores, conduct e-marketing, strengthen cybersecurity, and/or facilitate work-from-home or virtual meeting programmes. More information on how to apply.


                          Update June 22nd:

                          Last week quite a few new cases with travel history arrived in Hong Kong. The total number is now set on 1132 cases of COVID-19, including 1084 confirmed, 1078 discharged, 5 fatal, and 49 still hospitalised.

                          Registration for Cash Payout Scheme goes smoothly on first day 
                          https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202006/21/P2020062100670.htm 
                          Registration for the Cash Payout Scheme has gone smoothly on the first day and public response was enthusiastic. As at 5pm on June 21, about 2 million people submitted electronic registrations through the 21 banks participating in the Scheme and about 8 000 people submitted electronic forms through the Hongkong Post website. 


                          Update June 15th:

                          Only 3 new cases added last week, which bring the total to 1110. Only 39 were still hospitalised.

                          D-Biz Programme Funding: The D-Biz Programme (Distance Business Programme) is part of the Government's Anti-Epidemic Fund to support companies through the unprecedented challenges they are facing due to the coronavirus outbreak. Remote working/service has become a new trend, and the D-Biz Programme aims to help companies develop new innovations and technology to drive remote business.

                          Companies can use D-Biz funding to purchase or adopt technology solutions and related training. The subsidies can be used to set up online stores, conduct e-marketing, strengthen cybersecurity, and/or facilitate work-from-home or virtual meeting programmes. More information on how to apply.
                           


                          Update June 8th:

                          A total of 1107 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded since 31 December 2019: 1049 cases already discharged, 4 fatal cases and the remaining 54 cases still hospitalised.

                          On June 3rd, the Government announced latest disease prevention measures: 
                          https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202006/02/P2020060200949.htm 
                          - Regulations on group gatherings and for business and premises extended until August 31 
                          - Two category system on quarantine regime to be introduced for arrivals into Hong Kong 
                          - Quarantine regulations to be extended until September 18 

                          HKMA and banking industry launch Banking Talent Programme: 
                          http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202006/04/P2020060400317.htm 
                          HKMA Chief Executive Eddie Yue said: "Joining the job market during a recession can be very stressful. It is therefore encouraging that the banking industry is providing full support to our new Banking Talent Programme, which aims to provide both short-term relief and valuable learning opportunities to young graduates who aspire to develop their career in the banking sector. In turn, the Programme also benefits the industry by expanding the talent pool to support the future growth of Hong Kong's banking sector."


                          Update June 1st:

                          Since 31 December 2019, the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health has recorded a total of 1085 cases of COVID-19, including 1084 confirmed, 4 fatal, 1037 discharged and 45 still hospitalised.

                          The Innovation and Technology Bureau (ITB) appealed to residents to seize the opportunity and register online (qmask.gov.hk) to receive the CuMask+™. On May, 31 more than 3.75 million registrants had applied for the free masks and 3.23 million masks have been delivered successfully by the Hongkong Post. 

                          To apply for wage subsidies under the “Employment Support Scheme” (ESS), follow this link


                          Update May 26th:

                          The HKSAR Government has launched the “Employment Support Scheme” (ESS) under the second round of the “Anti-epidemic Fund” to provide time-limited financial support to employers to retain employees who may otherwise be made redundant.

                          Generally speaking, all employers who have been participating in MPF schemes (including Master Trust Schemes and Industry Schemes) will be eligible to apply for wage subsidies. For more detailed information and how to apply, follow this link

                          Eligible employers and self-employed persons can submit online applications for the first tranche of wage subsidies through the ESS Online Portal at www.ess.gov.hk until 11.59pm on June 14 (Sunday). 


                          Update May 25th:

                          Last week ten new cases were announced, all with travel history, which brings the total to 1066. Only 32 were still hospitalised, 4 fatal cases and all others discharged. 

                          Classes will resume in a gradual manner after almost four months of suspension. Secondary Three to Secondary Five students will return to school on May 27, Primary Four to Secondary Two on June 8, and Kindergarten Three to Primary Three on June 15. International schools have a different school setting, as well as learning and teaching arrangements, 


                          Update May 18th:

                          The Government announced on May 17 that PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services Limited (PwC) has been appointed as the central processing agent for implementation of the Employment Support Scheme (ESS). More detailed arrangements about the ESS, including the online application procedures, will follow this week. For enquiries, please email to enquiry@employmentsupport.hk or call the hotline at 183 6122.

                          Three local transmissions (all in one family) without any travel history detected last week. Together with a few cases with travel history brings the total coronavirus cases to 1056, of which 1024 discharged, 4 fatal and 28 hospitalised.

                          For more information about the economic relief measures to support businesses and individuals, the HK government has published a booklet

                          More useful information can be found under the following links:


                          Update May 11th:

                          22 days in a row with no local new transmissions. Total coronavirus cases is now 1047 of which 982 discharged, 4 fatal and 62 hospitalised. Some of the social distancing measures have been relaxed since Friday May 8th. Especially the group gathering and in hospitality business, the number of persons allowed has been increased from four to eight persons, where the distance between groups continues to be at least 1.5 metres. 

                          The registration period for CuMask+™ will last for one month till June 6. Register here.

                          For more information about the economic relief measures to support businesses and individuals, the HK government has published a booklet


                          Update May 6th:

                          Government to distribute free reusable masks to all citizens. The CuMask+™ is developed by the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel. It is a six-layer mask with special ergonomic features. Two of its layers contain copper which is capable of immobilising bacteria, common viruses and other harmful substances. The mask complies with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) F2100 Level 1 Standard in terms of particle filtration efficiency (PFE), bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE), resistance to penetration by synthetic blood, flammability and pressure resistance, and is reusable for up to 60 washes. 

                          The registration period for CuMask+™ will last for one month till June 6. Register here.

                          For more information about the economic relief measures to support businesses and individuals, the HK government has published a booklet


                          Update May 4th:

                          Only two new confirmed cases since last week! Total is now 1039 of which 879 are discharged, 4 fatal and 157 still hospitalised.

                          With 10 days of almost all zero new cases, the majority of government employees will return to work at their offices starting today, Monday May 4th, while public facilities will partially reopen under the premise that coronavirus regulations governing social gatherings are respected. 


                          Update Tuesday April 27th:

                          Since last week only 12 new confirmed were cases, which brings the total recorded confirmed cases to 1037. Among these cases, 772 were discharged, 4 cases were fatal and the remaining 261 still hospitalised.

                          More stringent measures, like social distancing, temporarily closing of certain venues, inbound travellers testing and quarantine, were introduced since half March. Below chart shows the daily result in confirmed cases.

                          social distancing paying off

                          For more information about the economic relief measures to support businesses and individuals, the HK government has published a booklet. Latest update on Employment Support Scheme (ESS), more details will follow in May.

                          More useful information can be found under the following links:


                          Update Tuesday April 20th:

                          The social distancing is paying off, since last week only 15 new cases were confirmed which brings the total now to 1026 Covid-19 persons. Among these cases, 602 were discharged and 4 cases were fatal cases. The remaining 420 cases were still hospitalised. HKU Med department has created a real time dashboard with more detailed information.

                          For more information about the economic relief measures to support businesses and individuals, the HK government has published a booklet. Latest update on Employment Support Scheme (ESS), more details will follow in May.

                          More useful information can be found under the following links:


                          Update Tuesday April 14th:

                          A total of 1010 confirmed cases has been recorded by CHP till today. Among these cases, 397 were discharged and 4 cases were fatal cases the remaining 609 cases were still hospitalised. The number of cases is declining steadily, which is a good sign the social distancing measures are paying off. HK seems to be handling the outbreak quite good, compared to other places. 

                          From April 9, asymptomatic inbound travellers arriving on flights from the UK are required to proceed to the DH's Temporary Specimen Collection Centre (TSCC) at the AsiaWorld-Expo to collect their deep throat saliva samples and wait for the test results there. 

                          Last Thursday, April 9th, the Government announced a HK$137.5 billion economic relief package to help enterprises, employees and the public. See our other news articles for more details.


                          Update Tuesday April 6th:

                          STAY AT HOME AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, PRACTISE SOCIAL DISTANCING AND TOGETHER HELP PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 IN HONG KONG.

                          Latest directions under Prevention and Control of Disease taken effect on Friday April 3rd: All bars and pubs and premises used exclusively or mainly to sell alcohol need to be closed. Furthermore the group gathering with more than four people in public places is still prohibited.

                          As of April 5th, a total of 7080 cases fulfilling the reporting criteria of Severe Respiratory Disease associated with a Novel Infectious Agent were reported, of which 6058 cases were ruled out as COVID-19 and 890 confirmed. The remaining 132 cases were still hospitalised for investigation. Among the 890 confirmed cases, 206 were discharged and 4 cases were fatal. 

                          The AsiaWorld-Expowill conduct tests for travellers entering Hong Kong with symptoms of upper respiratory symptoms for early identification of COVID-19 cases. It will now also handle all suspected cases referred by the Centre for Health Protection, such as travellers under home quarantine or close contacts of confirmed cases. 

                          Q&A on new requirements to reduce gatherings.
                          Hong Kong’s multi-pronged response to COVID-19


                          Update Tuesday March 30th:

                          STAY AT HOME AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, PRACTISE SOCIAL DISTANCING AND TOGETHER HELP PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 IN HONG KONG. Taken effect on Sunday March 29th, group gatherings with more than four people in public places are prohibited! Find here a link to the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation.

                          As of 28 March 2020 a total of 5862 cases fulfilling the reporting criteria of Severe Respiratory Disease associated with a Novel Infectious Agent were reported, of which 5023 cases were ruled out as COVID-19 and 641 confirmed. The remaining 198 cases were still hospitalised for investigation. Among the 641 confirmed cases, 118 were discharged and 4 cases were fatal. 

                          Video on how Hong Kong is coping with Covid-19.


                          Update Tuesday March 25th:

                          The following measures will be implemented with effect from 00.00am on March 25, tentatively for 14 days:
                           


                          Update Monday March 23rd:

                          The rapid spread of the virus globally has recently led to a spike in imported cases in Hong Kong, which has the potential to create more locally transmitted cases in Hong Kong. The recent compulsory quarantine for all international returnees is an important pubic health measure to quickly identity any imported cases and to curtail local transmissions. The Government has been enforcing the regulation with full force in the past few days. Unfortunately 41 persons were found to have left their dwelling places without permission, of which 5 have been located and the other 36 were placed on the wanted list. Leaving dwelling places without permission is a criminal offence and offenders are subject to a maximum imprisonment for six months and fine of $25,000. 

                          Since 31 December 2019, the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health has received reports of a total of 4096 cases fulfilling the reporting criteria of Severe Respiratory Disease. 3327 cases were ruled out as COVID-19 and 317 confirmed. The remaining 452 cases are still hospitalised for investigation. Among the 317 confirmed cases, 213 remain hospitalised, 100 were discharged and 4 were fatal cases.

                          Find here a special health advice letter from the CHP to the Hong Kong expatriate community. The government also released a prevention video of Covid-19 in the Workplace.


                          Update Monday March 16th:

                          The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases has reach 149 confirmed, including 1 probably cases, 3 fatal cases and 84 already discharged.

                          The Red Outbound Travel Alert is also issued for:

                          The Department of Health will strengthen health quarantine measures on people arriving from the above countries and demand them to undergo compulsory 14-day home quarantine, regardless of whether they are Hong Kong residents. 

                          In general, members of the public are advised to consider delaying all non-essential travel outside Hong Kong. 


                          Update Monday March 9nd:

                          The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases has reach 115 confirmed, including 1 probably cases, 4 fatal cases and 59 already discharged.

                          On March 8, the health declaration arrangements at the Hong Kong International Airport were expanded from inbound flights from the Mainland to all flights arriving Hong Kong. The Department of Health has rolled out an electronic health declaration form for the convenience of travellers and to reduce the use of papers. Currently, all travellers on flights arriving Hong Kong from the Mainland can choose to fill in and submit the health declaration form on their smartphone or mobile device.

                          Starting  Monday March 9, private doctors can collect respiratory samples from patients presenting with fever or respiratory symptoms, in particular for those with travel history outside Hong Kong within 14 days before onset of symptoms. If samples are tested positive, the CHP will arrange the patients concerned for admission to public hospitals for isolation and treatment. 

                          From March 14, all arrivals from below areas, or those who have visited such places in the past 14 days will also be quarantined: Italy whole country, France (regions Bourgogne-Franche-Comte and Grand Est), Germany (region North Rhine-Westphalia), Japan (region Hokkaido), Spain (region La Rioja, Madrid and Basque Country). 
                           


                          Update Monday March 2nd:

                          The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases has reach 100 now, including 2 probably cases and 36 already discharged. 

                          Government announced that all members of the public who have recently visited a place with active community transmission of COVID-19 should defer blood donation for 28 days from the date of departure. 

                          Starting from March 1, quarantine orders have also been issued to people (regardless of whether they are Hong Kong residents) arriving Hong Kong who have been to Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy or Veneto regions in Italy or Iran in the past 14 days.

                          As the novel coronavirus epidemic shows no obvious signs of abatement, the Education Bureau (EDB) decided February 26th that classes of all schools will continue to be suspended until April 20 the earliest. The exact date of class resumption is subject to further assessment. 

                          The regulation of the compulsory 14-day quarantine period is set to expire on May 7th.


                          Update Monday February 24th:

                          Since last week's update, the number of confirmed cases has risen to 74 in Hong Kong, of which 60 are still hospitalised, 12 were discharged and 2 were fatal cases. 

                          The special work arrangement for government departments is extended until March 1st in order to reduce social contacts and the risk of the spread of the novel coronavirus in the community. 

                          A Local Mask Production Subsidy Scheme under the Anti-epidemic Fund has been announced to facilitate the establishment of mask production lines in Hong Kong as soon as possible. The Government welcomes applications from all organisations interested in establishing mask production lines in Hong Kong. To be eligible for a subsidy from the Government, a production line must satisfy a number of stringent conditions. See press release.


                          Update Monday February 17th:

                          Since 31 December 2019 and as of 17 February 2020, the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) has received reports of a total of 1,534 cases fulfilling the reporting criteria of Severe Respiratory Disease associated with a Novel Infectious Agent, including 57 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) and 1,341 cases ruled out as novel coronavirus infection. The remaining 136 cases are still hospitalised for investigation. Among the 57 confirmed cases, 54 remained hospitalised, two have been discharged, while the remaining case was a fatal case. So far, there is no sign of a community outbreak in HK. 

                          Last week the Chief Executive announced that the HKSAR Government will more than double its dedicated fund to fight the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to HK$25 billion. Mrs Lam also outlined 21 funding measures,  including ensuring necessary resources for frontline medical staff, boost supply of surgical masks, promote local production of surgical masks, support various sectors such as tourism, food and beverage, retail and property management etc. 


                          Update Monday February 10th: 

                          As of February 7th, the Government's appeal to employers in the private sector to also introduce flexible work arrangements for staff to reduce risk of spread of novel coronavirus in community,  has been extended by another week until February 16th.

                          With effect from February 8th, persons arriving in Hong Kong from the Mainland will be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine period. To ensure sufficient supply of food and supplies in Hong Kong, the Chief Secretary for Administration will, according to the Regulation, exempt certain categories of people from the quarantine requirement. See press release for details.

                          The most recent update from Hong Kong’s Department of Health (dated February 9th, 2020) refers to thirty-six confirmed cases, in Hong Kong.


                          Monday February 3rd:

                          Dear Members and friends of DutchCham,

                          As you are aware, there is high attention by the local authorities to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak and different measures have been introduced. As DutchCham, we see it as one of our main roles to facilitate the sharing of essential information about this virus and how it affects the Dutch business community in Hong Kong. At the time of writing, the most recent update from Hong Kong’s Department of Health (dated February 3rd, 2020) refers to fifteen confirmed cases, all but one relate to individuals who have recently arrived from Mainland China. The impact of the disease has also affected schools being closed until March 2 and many work places instructing staff to work from home as far as possible. Given the tight supply of surgical masks, the HKSAR government appeals to members of the public to go out less and pay attention to personal hygiene to reduce the use of surgical masks. 

                          Despite the serious situation, DutchCham aims to maintain as much of a business as usual approach as possible. We will monitor events and update our assessment if and as necessary. 

                          Many of our member companies have informed us of precautionary measures taken by their companies. Most importantly, it is essential that you stay informed in order to make fact-based decisions for yourself, your families and your companies.

                          The HKSAR advises to prevent pneumonia and respiratory tract infection, members of the public should always maintain good personal and environmental hygiene. Everybody is advised to:
                          • Wear a surgical mask when taking public transport or staying in crowded places. It is important to wear a mask properly, including 
                          hand hygiene before wearing and after removing a mask;
                          • Perform hand hygiene frequently, especially before touching the mouth, nose or eyes; after touching public installations such as handrails or door knobs; or when hands are contaminated by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing;
                          • Maintain drainage pipes properly and regularly (about once a week) pour about half a liter of water into each drain outlet (U-traps) to ensure environmental hygiene;
                          • Wash hands with liquid soap and water, and rub for at least 20 seconds. Then rinse with water and dry with a disposable paper towel. If hand washing facilities are not available, or when hands are not visibly soiled, performing hand hygiene with 70 to 80 per cent alcohol-based handrub is an effective alternative;
                          • Cover your mouth and nose with tissue paper when sneezing or coughing. Dispose of soiled tissues into a lidded rubbish bin, then wash hands thoroughly; and
                          • When having respiratory symptoms, wear a surgical mask, refrain from work or attending class at school, avoid going to crowded places and seek medical advice promptly.

                          More useful information can be found under the following links:

                           

                          Please make sure your company’s qualified staff (such as HR/admin/general management) is up to date on any government recommendations. 

                          We hope you find this information helpful.

                          DutchCham Office team

                           

                          • All non-Hong Kong residents coming from overseas countries and regions by plane will be denied entry to Hong Kong
                          • Non-Hong Kong residents coming from the Mainland, Macao and Taiwan will be denied entry to Hong Kong if they have been to any overseas countries and regions in the past 14 days
                          • All transit services at Hong Kong International Airport will be suspended
                          • All travellers coming from Macao and Taiwan, including Hong Kong and non-Hong Kong residents, will be subject to a 14-day compulsory quarantine, which is the same as the arrangements for people entering Hong Kong from the Mainland.