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Do not accept visitors while in quarantine, Labour Dept reminds FDHs

13 December 2020

By The SUN 

Food delivery from outside to hotel guests will be limited to prevent cross-infections

The Labour Department has reminded foreign domestic helpers, their employers and employment agencies to take note of new restrictions imposed by the government on travelers arriving in Hong Kong from countries outside China. 

The advisory was issued on Dec 11, shortly after top government officials announced the new, more stringent measures.

The statement came with a reminder for FDHs to strictly comply with the rule that they should not leave their hotel room, or let anyone inside, while they are under quarantine.


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“Relevant FDHs are reminded that without the permission of an authorised officer, they are not allowed to leave the room and no one is allowed to visit them during the 14-day compulsory quarantine period. The hotels will provide three meals a day to the persons under quarantine,” said the statement.

The warning came amid reports in chat rooms that some FDHs were letting visitors into their hotel rooms while under quarantine. One hotel guest related how one quarantined woman was visited by three different people with staff hardly noticing, as people from outside are allowed to bring food and other stuff directly to the rooms of quarantined guests.

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“It looks like the 3 of them were planning a mini feast inside the hotel room (similar to what you would see on the streets and bridges in Central on Sundays and public holidays, if you know what I mean,” said the hotel guest.

Another man related how his “quarantine neighbor” had been visited by her friends and boyfriend, who stayed for about two hours. However, the man gave no hint of his neighbor’s  identity or profession, nor of the hotel they were staying at.

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Any violations of the quarantine restrictions could incur a penalty of up to $25,000 fine and a maximum jail term of six months.

Some hotels allow food couriers to go up to the rooms of quarantined guests

The new rules set out in the Prevention and Control of Disease Regulation (Cap 599H) also provide that from Dec 22, all new arrivals must only stay only in government-designated hotels, which will provide them with all meals. A preliminary list of 36 hotels that will cater exclusively to travelers under quarantine has been released to the public.

However, the government stopped short of prohibiting all food deliveries from outside to quarantined hotel guest.

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All incoming travelers who return a negative result for the Covid-19 test done at the airport will be moved to their quarantine hotels by government-arranged transportation, unlike before when they could choose their mode of transport.

The Labour statement also reminded FDHs that before they can check into their flight to Hong Kong, they must produce a hotel booking for no less than 14 days, starting from the day of their arrival in Hong Kong.

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“Employers and EAs (employment agencies, “if applicable”) are reminded to make necessary preparations for their FDHs beforehand. If an FDH is not able to produce the said confirmation, he/she may not be allowed to board the flight to Hong Kong,” said the statement.

The Labour Department reiterated that the full cost of the FDH’s quarantine must be borne by the employer.

"Employers are also reminded to comply with their obligations under the Standard Employment Contract, including bearing the accommodation expenses and providing food allowance to FDHs during the FDHs’ compulsory quarantine," the statement said.

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EAs, on the other hand, are told to help employers ensure full compliance with the regulations, and warns of penalties in cases of violations.

“If there is evidence that an EA has violated the requirements in the Code of Practice for Employment Agencies, the EA concerned will be penalized,” said the statement.

The list of designated quarantine hotels can be found here: www.designatedhotel,gov.hk. For relevant inquiries, call the Department of Health hotline, 2125 1122. 

All matters concerning employment rights and benefits could be directed to the FDH hotline of the HK Labour Dept at 2157 9537 (manned by "1823") or by email to:

fdhenquiry@labour.gov.hk

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