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5 FDHs told to get tested after failing to comply with compulsory testing

16 May 2021

  By The SUN

The spot checks were done as FDHs began complying with a second order to get tested 

Officers from the Labour Department have issued compulsory testing notice orders to five foreign domestic helpers who failed to comply with the government’s directive for all FDHs to get themselves tested for Covid-19 from May 1-9.

According to a statement issued by the government late on Sunday, the five violators were found after labour officers conducted spot checks on known FDH haunts across the city. Twenty other cases are being followed up.


This came as the second round of mandatory tests on FDHs continued for the second day, amid one of the hottest days of the year. The second phase is set to last from May 15-30.

A total of 3,539 FDHs were reportedly asked to show the SMS notification of their test result for the previous round, or proof that they had two doses of a vaccine 14 days before the May 9 deadline.

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“The vast majority had complied with the compulsory testing notice,” said the statement, “but there were 20 FDHs whose testing/vaccination records required further verification.”

The Labour Department will follow up on those cases accordingly, said the statement.


No mention was made of any fixed penalty ticket being issued to any of the five FDHs, who were reportedly told to undergo testing within a specified period.

Under the anti-epidemic restrictions, a fixed penalty ticket costing $5,000 may be issued outright to anyone who fails to follow a compulsory testing order.

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At the same time, the person is issued with a compulsory testing order requiring him or her to undergo testing within a specified time, or face a further fine of up to $25,000 and imprisonment for six months.

The government statement said labour officers roamed Central, Tamar Park in Admiralty, Victoria Park in Causeway Bay, Lai Chi Kok Park, Tsuen Wan Park, and a footbridge near Fa Yuen Street in Mong Kok for the past two days to check on FDHs’ compliance.

Workers register their phone numbers where their test result will be sent via SMS

For the second round, all FDHs, except those who had their second vaccine jab at least two weeks before the May 30 deadline (or on or before May 16), must take the coronavirus test all over again.

The second testing order, which comes just six days after the previous round ended, was met with widespread indignation by FDHs who called it an act of discrimination and stigmatization.


A number showed their displeasure today by wearing red, in response to a call by some migrant leaders.

But when some police officers approached a red-clad group that gathered on Chater Road in Central, the workers denied staging a protest in violation of anti-gathering restrictions. 

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love.

Many workers, however, complied with the order. Those who arrived early in Central said they lined up at the mobile testing center at Chater Garden even before the medics who conducted the test took up their stations.

Some workers turned up in red in a silent protest at the compulsory orders

“Kaninang umaga mahaba ang pila. Inagahan ko para makaiwas sa sobrang init kapag mataas na ang araw,” said a worker who waited for her three friends who decided to line up after lunch. (This morning the queue was long. I lined up early to avoid the excessive heat when the sun is already high.)

At 1:50pm, it was 32 degrees Celsius in Central and most parts of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, making the heat almost unbearable. By then, there were only about 20 people lining up under the tents set up by the testing staff inside Chater Garden.  

Another Filipina who just had her swab test was complaining that the male medic who took samples from her nostril and throat had a heavy hand.

Ang sakit naman niyang mag-swab. Ang bigat ng kamay niyang sumundot sa aking ilong,” the woman said.  (I hurt a lot when he swabbed me. His hand was heavy.)

Workers arrived individually, in pairs or threes, so there was room for the marshals to space out the distance between those on the queue.

Those who had booked tests online walked straight to the registration officers to confirm their bookings and were directed to the next available testing booth.

By 4pm, only a handful of workers could be seen registering for the walk-in swab in Chater Garden, where those who got tested were mostly Filipinos. 

But over at Victoria Park, which is a favorite hub of Indonesian workers, the queue was still quite long.

In the past exercise, a total of 340,000 FDHs complied with the order, said the government. A further 40,000 were exempted because they were fully vaccinated.

Three positive results came out from that initial round. Two were linked to a variant spread that started with an Indian returnee who appeared to have gotten infected in his quarantine hotel. The third had just ended her quarantine, and was also believed to have acquired the virus from her hotel.

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