Hong Kong has made it mandatory to get vaccinated to enter restaurants, shopping centers and other locations on Thursday. The city is fighting an expanding omicron epidemic and trying to combat vaccine hesitancy among some of its citizens.
At the entrance of businesses, a QR code was posted so that people could scan it with their smartphone to verify their vaccination status.
To be allowed to enter these areas, everyone aged 12 or older must have at least one dose COVID-19 vaccination. Two doses will be required for anyone 18 years and older starting April 30. Starting June 30, some people will need booster shots.
Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous Chinese metropolis, is trying to implement a zero COVID strategy. It is based on the hard measures taken by mainland Chinato stop the virus spreading. Due to a sharp increase in cases caused by the omicron variant, Hong Kong is short of isolation rooms and hospital beds required for a zero COVID strategy.
Experts from the Mainland were brought in to assist in temporary testing and to create new isolation wards in order to manage a mass test of the entire population of 7.4million people next month. This is similar to what China does for cities that are affected by small outbreaks. Hohhot, China’s Inner Mongolia region, launched a sixth round citywide testing on Thursday to combat an outbreak that has already confirmed 277 cases.
The Health Department in Hong Kong reported 8,798 cases of new positive tests within the last 24-hour period. This is the highest daily number since the outbreak.
Due to the ongoing outbreak and the requirement to get vaccinated in order to enter certain buildings, more people are opting for shots. According to the government, approximately 5.9 million people have received at least one dose. This is 87% of those aged 12 and over.
Nearly 45,000 people got their first dose of vaccine between 8 p.m. Wednesday and 43,000 received their second or third doses, according to the city government.
Fresh food markets, gaming centres, gyms, beauty salons, barbershops, swimming pool, department stores, and nightclubs are all subject to the vaccine requirement. There are exceptions for those who deliver or pick up the item, even takeout food.
King Woo was waiting outside a restaurant for takeout and said that people should be able to decide whether or not to use the vaccine pass.
He said, “Even though I’m not vaccinated I should be able to dine in.” “I would rather order take-out in this current situation.”
Restaurant employees are required to scan each customer’s vaccination status with their smartphone and check it at every table. There is no requirement to check at other places, such as shopping malls. According to the government, police can conduct spot checks.
Link, which operates 75 shopping centers and 52 fresh foods markets, stated that it has placed QR codes at entrances and passageways into car parks and housing complexes. It also reminded workers they must be vaccinated.
Link CEO George Hongchoy stated in a press release that his team had been hard at work to create a safe environment for tenants and the general public.