Gradual helper admission necessary

To prevent imported COVID-19 cases, the Government must resume the admission of foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) to Hong Kong in a gradual and orderly manner, Secretary for Labour & Welfare Dr Law Chi-kwong said today.   Answering a lawmaker’s questions at the Legislative Council, Dr Law outlined a number of facilitative measures for FDHs to come to work in Hong Kong. From August 9, FDHs who have been fully vaccinated in Hong Kong before leaving may return and work in the city. In addition, the first designated quarantine facility has commenced operations since August 30, providing 409 rooms for FDH quarantine.   From September 20, the Government has also opened a total of 800 units in Phases 1 and 2 of the Penny’s Bay Quarantine Centre on Lantau Island for the quarantine of FDHs who have completed their jab courses in relevant Group A specified places, which currently include Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.   To further address FDH employers’ needs, an additional 200 units in the Penny’s Bay Quarantine Centre will be provided from October 22.   When asked whether the quarantine quota will first be allocated to families that urgently need to hire FDHs, Dr Law said it would not be easy to accord reservation priority at the Penny’s Bay centre because such arrangements would create controversies and administrative complications.   The Government will continue to refine the booking arrangements for the quarantine centre, and consider the need for further increasing the number of designated quarantine facilities, having regard to the worldwide and local epidemic situation, he emphasised.
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