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16 Filipinos ordered to pay $2k each for violating gathering ban

10 August 2020

By Daisy CL Mandap

Police were all over Chater Road in Central to step up surveillance on FDHs on their day off

A total of 16 Filipinos were issued with penalty tickets, each costing $2,000, during a police operation yesterday in Central and Tseung Kwan O, as part of the stricter enforcement of the new stringent measures to control the spread of the coronavirus.

A police spokeswoman told The SUN today, Aug 10, that nine Filipinos, one man and eight women aged between 32 and 44 years old, were issued with penalty tickets in the vicinity of Chater Road, for violating Cap 599 (g), which provides that no more than two people can gather in public together.
The same penalty was imposed on five other Filipinas who were stopped “in a small hiking path” in Tseung Kwan O for gathering beyond the required number.

Two other Filipinas were also issued the fixed penalty of $2,000 each for not wearing masks in the TKO path, in violation of cap 599 (i) which mandates the wearing of face masks in all public places, indoors or outdoors.
Only one non-Filipino was reportedly fined the same amount for not wearing a mask in public. The police spokeswoman said the 35-year-old man was a Pakistani national who was caught violating the ban in Central.

At least one observer who was at some known Filipino haunts in Central early yesterday morning said the police officers were actually quite lenient, as they initially just issued warnings and distributed leaflets informing people of the gathering restrictions.
But it seemed the kid-glove treatment did not last as the officers began issuing fixed penalty tickets afterwards.

More serious violations of the restrictions could lead to arrests, and a maximum fine of $25,000 and six months imprisonment.
In Stature Square, police also distributed leaflets  telling OFWs about gathering rules
On Friday, Labour Secretary Law Chi-kwong announced the stepped-up surveillance by the police, in the wake of reports that two Indonesian domestic workers who had stayed in dormitories run by employment agencies tested positive for Covid-19.
He said then that 12 FDHs had been issued the fixed penalty ticket for violating the gathering ban.

Yesterday, another Indonesian FDH who had stayed in an agency shelter in Tsuen Wan also tested positive, but four other helpers who were there with her were all negative for the virus.

Today, three more Indonesian helpers who lived in the same boarding house in Sheung Wan as the second infected maid, also tested positive, although they were asymptomatic.
Law announced that masks would be given free to helpers staying in dormitories, and they would all be tested starting yesterday.

At least one agency group, the Hong Kong Union of Employment Agencies, says its members got the free masks yesterday, but no one had approached them yet about the free tests for their recruits.

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