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Compulsory use of LeaveHomeSafe app in govt venues to start tomorrow

31 October 2021

By The SUN 

Indoor public markets such as the one in Lei Yue Mun are included in the regulation

Mandatory use of the LeaveHomeSafe app for entry into government buildings, including enclosed wet markets and cooked food stalls, will be enforced starting Monday, Nov 1.

The only ones exempted from the new rule are those aged 12 and below and 65 and above, and those with disability that make it difficult for them to use the app.

But according to Secretary for Civil Service Patrick Nip, the rule will be applied with leniency, amid clamor from various sectors for exemptions for other people who may not have the means to download the app.

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Speaking on radio on Sunday, Nip said he is aware of the difficulties faced by some citizens, such as homeless people, who have no smart phones. Initially, a light-handed approach will be adopted, Nip said.

He said that for homeless people, they can leave contacts of social welfare organizations or social workers. He reminded citizens that it is illegal to provide false information or use a fake LeaveHomeSafe app.

In a separate statement, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department which runs all public markets, said that it will focus initially on education instead of strict implementation of the new rule.


“As it takes time for the public to get used to the new measures, especially for its public markets, hawker bazaars and cooked food markets, the FEHD will focus on education and publicity, and offer technical support to those in need during the initial stage of the implementation of the requirement,” said the statement.

This means that those who have “genuine difficulties in using the app” will still be allowed to write down their personal details on a piece of paper, said the FEHD.  However, it warned that this would lengthen their waiting time of those allowed to skip the new rule for the meantime.

Those given an exemption to the new rule will also be asked to fill in a prescribed form to register their names, the first four digits of their identification documents, their contact numbers and the date and time of their visits.


“The staff on-site will also verify the listed contact numbers by making phone calls on the spot,” warned the FEHD.

Exempted from the strict implementation of the app use are those who enter FEHD’s columbaria, cemeteries, refuse collection points, public bathhouses and public toilets. The venues’ QR codes will still be display, but users are given the option of not using them before entry.

Visitors at all public hospitals are also covered by the strict app-use requirement 

Among the other venues that will require the use of the app are government offices including the Immigration Department, public schools, hospitals, libraries, sports grounds, courts and police stations.

The new rule is part of the government’s tightened Covid restrictions aimed at reopening Hong Kong’s borders with the Mainland and preventing a possible fifth wave of infections in the city.


Currently, many business establishments, particularly restaurants and pubs, as well as churches and other places of worship, already require their visitors to use the app, but still give them the option to sign in using slips of paper at the entrance.

Meanwhile, a woman who arrived from the United Kingdom on Friday was confirmed today as the only Covid-19 patient in Hong Kong. She was found to carry the L452R mutant strain of the coronavirus.

She took the number of cases in Hong Kong to 12,347.

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The 37-year-old woman arrived on a BA031 flight from London on Oct 29 and tested positive on her arrival test at Hong Kong International Airport.

The Centre for Health Protection is also investigating an overseas case of Covid-19 involving an 18-year-old man who lives at Ching Tak House, Tsz Ching Estate, Tsz Wan Shan.

The CHP said the man traveled to Singapore on Oct 24 by flight TR981 and his specimen collected upon arrival in that city tested positive.

The man received two doses of BioNTech on Jul 8 and Jul 30 in Hong Kong.

The CHP said it is following up the case with Singapore’s health authority and that epidemiological investigations and contact tracing are continuing.

Health authorities included the place where the patient resided in Hong Kong during the incubation period in a compulsory testing notice. Everyone who was at the venue at specified periods need to undergo compulsory testing on or before Nov 1.

The Hospital Authority said that as of 9am today, 63 confirmed patients were being treated in eight public hospitals and the North Lantau Hospital Hong Kong Infection Control Centre. All of them are in stable condition. 



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