Source: Hong Kong Information Services
Starting November 1, except for exempted people, all government employees and members of the public will be required to use the LeaveHomeSafe mobile app to scan the venue QR code before entering government buildings or offices, the Government announced today.
It noticed that under the current arrangement which allows for only a person’s name and contact number to be provided, incomplete or even false personal particulars may be provided for registration, which can greatly reduce the efficiency and precision of contact tracing when a confirmed case is found.
The Government added that if the viral transmission chain cannot be cut as early as possible, it may give rise to the risk of a community outbreak.
With the global prevalence of COVID-19 and the high transmissibility of its mutant strains, it is necessary for the Government to refine and adopt more stringent measures by strictly enforcing the requirement of using the app and stepping up the verification of personal particulars.
The measures are to ensure that the Centre for Health Protection can conduct epidemiological investigations in a persistently efficient manner to protect the public’s safety.
Under the new arrangement, people who are aged below 12 or aged 65 or above, and those with disabilities that render use of the app difficult, will be exempted from the requirement of using the app when they enter government buildings and offices.
Instead, they will be required to complete a record form to register their names, the first four digits or letters of their identification documents, their contact numbers and the date and time of their visits. They also need to present relevant identification documents for verification at the request of the staff on-site during registration. The staff will verify the contact numbers by making phone calls.
Government bureaus or departments may grant exemptions to individuals depending on the actual circumstances, and register and verify information provided by those people.
Under the new arrangement, unwillingness to use the app will not be considered as justification for granting exemption.
The Government appeals for the public’s understanding. As it will take time to verify personal particulars of exempted people under the new arrangement, their waiting time for using public services or entering the relevant premises may be lengthened.
It hopes that different private enterprises will be encouraged to follow the arrangement and implement the requirement of using the app in a more extensive and stringent manner.
Citizens are reminded that knowingly providing information that is false or misleading in a material particular is liable to prosecution.