December 30, 2020 - January 4, 2021
Social distancing measures extended through Jan 20
Social distancing measures currently in place in Hong Kong will be maintained for another two weeks until Jan 20. Speaking at a press briefing, Secretary for Food & Health Prof Sophia Chan explained that the measures could not be relaxed given the global COVID-19 pandemic and local situation. Prof Chan called on the public to work together to bring the infection numbers down. Under the latest requirements, dine-in service in restaurants must end at 6 pm, with no more than two people seated together at one table. Bars and pubs, along with other public venues, remain close. The prohibition on group gatherings of more than two people in public places and the mandatory mask-wearing requirement also remain in force. All kindergartens, as well as primary and secondary schools, continue to suspend face-to-face classes and school activities until the Lunar New Year holiday next month.
Electronic testing record website set up
Starting Dec 31, members of the public can download their own electronic testing record through the COVID-19 Electronic Testing Record System (the System) through a dedicated website ( set up by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government. They can simply input their Hong Kong identity card number and specimen bottle number to the System’s website to download the record. The public can also access the System through the “COVID-19 Thematic Website” (
Applications open for non-permanent residents to extend visa/entry permit
Hong Kong’s Immigration Department announced (Dec 31) that in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, non-permanent residents currently outside Hong Kong with their limit of stay about to expire or expired may apply for a visa/entry permit to return to Hong Kong. According the latest arrangement, if persons (except foreign domestic helpers and imported workers) with limit of stay expiring within four weeks or expired for less than 12 months, are outside Hong Kong and unable to return to the city timely to apply for extension of stay, they may submit a duly completed application form together with the required supporting documents for application for extension of stay under the relevant immigration policy/scheme. They are also required to furnish a letter setting out the details on their inability to return to Hong Kong timely for the extension of stay formalities. If the application is approved, the applicant will be issued with a visa/entry permit for their return to Hong Kong within the validity of that visa/entry permit. 
Application opens for Administrative Service Summer Internship
Hong Kong students studying in tertiary institutions who are interested in pursuing a career in the Administrative Service are welcomed to apply for the Administrative Service Summer Internship Programme 2021, where they will get hands-on experience of working with service Administrative Officers. The program is open to students who are currently undergoing full-time undergraduate or postgraduate studies at a local, mainland or overseas tertiary institution in the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 academic years, with a view to obtaining by summer 2022 or 2023 a bachelor’s degree or higher qualifications. Overseas applications have to be submitted by postal mail by Feb 19, 2021. The application form and information about the program, including selection criteria, can be found online.
Free streaming of ballet and orchestra performances
For a limited time only, check out Hong Kong Ballet’s extravagant “ALICE (in wonderland)” on the dedicated arts and culture webpage “Hong Kong Arts and Cultural Experience”. Choreographed by Artistic Director Septime Webre, this giddy, over-the-top re-imagining of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale is bursting with energy and imagination and promises exhilarating fun for all ages. For those interested in exploring new frontiers in music, check out the first of a five-part video series “Music Connection” featuring the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra. The first episode features Follow the Pagoda Tree to Trace the Roots of Our Ancestors by internationally renowned composer, Zhao Jiping, capturing the musical thoughts of homecoming.
New dance drama “Mazu the Sea Goddess” streaming online
“Mazu the Sea Goddess”, an original dance drama directed and choreographed by National First Class Artist Yan Hongxia and presented by Hong Kong Dance Company is making its debut online. The dance drama celebrates Mazu the Sea Goddess, who according to coastal folklore, has been guarding the vast seas and guiding her people safely home. It is currently being streamed online through Jan 21.
  • The value of total retail sales in November, provisionally estimated at US$3.6 billion, fell 4% year-on-year. After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the volume of total retail sales dropped 4.7% year-on-year. The year-on-year decline in retail sales further narrowed in November, primarily due to the notable increase in sales at retail outlets of consumer durable goods.

  • The HKSAR Government recorded a US$40.8 billion deficit for the eight months ending Nov 30. Expenditure for the period was US$71.4 billion and revenue was US$30.6 billion. Fiscal reserves stood at US$107.9 billion at the end of November.

  • Total assets of Hong Kong’s Exchange Fund amounted to US$570.7 billion as at Nov 30. This is US$1.8 billion lower than that at Oct 31. Foreign currency assets decreased by US$3.7 billion while Hong Kong dollar assets increased by US$1.9 billion. Backing Assets increased to US$297 billion. 
Hong Kong and its Basic Law
The Basic Law (BL) is the constitutional document of the HKSAR. Put into effect on July 1, 1997, it enshrines within a legal document the important concept of “One Country, Two Systems”.

Q: Hong Kong a free port and a separate customs territory?
A: The HKSAR is a separate customs territory. The HKSAR, using the name “Hong Kong, China”, is a member in its own right of the World Trade Organization and the World Customs Organization. Ships of all nations enjoy access to the ports of the HKSAR, which is a free port, in accordance with the laws of the Region. Export quotas, tariff preferences and other similar arrangements, which are obtained or made by the HKSAR or which were obtained or made and remain valid, shall be enjoyed exclusively by Hong Kong. (BL Articles 114; 116; 126)
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