Hong Kong is moving ahead with a vaccine passport scheme under which only those who have been vaccinated against Covid and who use a Government mobile phone app will be able to go to bars and nightclubs when they reopen on Thursday. All staff will also be required to have received at least one dose of a vaccine. The scheme will, according to a Government official, enable life in Hong Kong to “return to normal” – despite breaking from all that has previously been considered “normal”. Reuters has the story.
Hong Kong will reopen bars and nightclubs from April 29th for people who have been vaccinated and who use a Government mobile phone application, the Asian financial hub’s Health Secretary said on Tuesday.
Sophia Chan told a press briefing the measures extended to bathhouses and karaoke lounges and would enable the venues to stay open until 2 am. All staff and customers must have received at least one vaccine dose for the venue to be operational and they must operate at half capacity, she said.
“We all hope life can return to normal but we need to allow some time for everyone to adapt to these new measures,” Chan said.
The former British colony has recorded over 11,700 total coronavirus cases, far lower than other developed cities…
Chan’s announcement comes as authorities try to incentivise residents to get vaccinated with only around 11% of the city’s 7.5 million population having received their first vaccine dose.
The take up of vaccines has been sluggish since the scheme began in the Chinese special administrative region in February due to a lack of confidence in China’s Sinovac vaccine and fears of adverse reactions.
Hong Kong began vaccinating residents with doses from Sinovac in February and started offering a vaccine developed by Germany’s BioNTech in March.
Under the new scheme, restaurant-goers who have not been vaccinated will have to sit in designated areas, away from those who have received a vaccine.
Restaurants will set up different areas for customers who are not vaccinated and for those who choose to write their contact details down on paper rather than registering with the government app. This segment will only be allowed to dine up to four people to a table [whereas the “vaccinated zone” will be permitted to dine up to six customers per table].
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