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Vaccine bubble may start as early as Feb 4, says CE

18 January 2022

By The SUN 

CE says businesses may reopen on Feb 4 but only under a vaccine bubble

Hong Kong’s plan to introduce the so-called vaccine bubble, in which only fully vaccinated people will be allowed into certain premises like restaurants, may start as early as Feb 4, instead of Feb 24 as originally planned.

This was what Chief Executive Carrie Lam said at a press conference held this morning, Jan 18, before the weekly meeting of the Executive Council.


Mrs Lam said that the current round of social distancing measures which include a ban on dine-in at restaurants after 6pm and the closure of bars, karaoke, beauty parlors and other venues, will end on Feb. 4 only if the number of Covid-19 cases remain steady.

If businesses are reopened then this could only be under the vaccine bubble arrangement.


“One of the arrangements we could consider after this round of social distancing measures is to allow business to operate under a vaccine bubble,” she said.

“As a result of that suggestion, of course, we are already seeing an increase – I won’t call it as a surge – but an increase in vaccination amongst the population, especially among the older population which is to be welcomed.”

Even theme parks may restrict entry only to those who are fully vaccinated

She said the vaccination figure has gone up in the last eight to 10 days. Yesterday, close to 18,000 people had their first shot of a Covid-19 vaccine. She is hoping the rate will go up to 20,000 daily.

She is most concerned about the low vaccination rate among the elderly, who are among those at high risk of falling seriously ill if they contract the coronavirus. Only 27% of those aged 80 and above have taken the jab, according to her.


The city’s top leader also announced that the distribution of financial aid for businesses hard-hit by the latest round of restrictions could be released before the Chinese New Year. She said there is a need to get the funds injected into the businesses as soon as possible.

Mrs Lam also expressed concern about the continuing spread of the Omicron variant, particularly in the case of the Pakistani woman who tested positive for Covid-19 after ending her 21-day hotel quarantine.


Health officials said yesterday the patient had spread the virus to nine other people, five of them in her own household, and the other four in another family she met only briefly.

Equally alarming is the case of a 23-year-old woman working in a pet shop who was recently found to carry the Delta variant. She said Health Secretary Sophia Chan and the Director of Agriculture will hold a press conference in the afternoon to talk about this particular case.

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