APRIL 13 - 19, 2021
Vaccination program expanded
Hong Kong’s COVID-19 vaccination program will be expanded to cover people aged 16 to 29. The minimum age for receiving the BioNTech vaccine is 16 and that for receiving the Sinovac vaccine is 18. Taking into account the supply of the BioNTech vaccine, the vaccination rate and its limitations in storage, the community vaccination centers administering the BioNTech vaccine are expected to operate until the end of September. People wishing to receive the BioNTech vaccine have to get the first dose by the end of August to complete the vaccination of two doses by the end of September. As the Sinovac vaccine can be stored for a longer period, the Sinovac vaccination services will continue to be provided through more than 1,600 private doctors participating in the program and the 18 general outpatient clinics of the Hospital Authority. To date (Apr 19), about 1.01 million doses COVID-19 vaccines have been administered for members of the public.
Boarding, quarantine rules adjusted
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government will adjust boarding and quarantine arrangements for people arriving from overseas places, tightening commercial flight suspension mechanism to address the risk of importation of mutant strains of COVID-19 from very high-risk places. From Apr 20, all passenger flights from India, Pakistan, and the Philippines will be prohibited from landing in Hong Kong for 14 days. Regarding quarantine arrangements for fully vaccinated people, the Government will supplement new arrangements applicable to such individuals and shorten the compulsory quarantine period from 21 days to 14 days under the “vaccine bubble” concept. For low-risk specified places, such as Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, the compulsory quarantine period for fully vaccinated people will be shortened from 14 days to seven days. The Government will announce the adjusted arrangement and exact grouping of places after finalizing the details.
Hong Kong will emerge stronger
Noting that the “One Country, Two Systems” is an unprecedented initiative that has seen the emergence of new developments and new challenges, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam remains confident in Hong Kong’s future and the city will emerge stronger. She cited the city’s uniqueness and strengths guaranteed under the Basic Law, including the rule of law, the independent judiciary, the free flow of capital, the freely convertible currency, the fundamental rights of the residents, the free flow of information and proximity to the world’s second largest economy and strategic geographical location. Under the 14th Five-Year Plan, Hong Kong’s competitive strengths as international financial, transportation and trade centers as well as a center for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region, continue to be recognized for advancement. The city’s aspiration and ability to develop an international innovation and technology hub, an international aviation hub, an East-meets-West center for international cultural exchange and an intellectual property trading hub have also been given recognition.
Rights and freedoms protected under Basic Law respected
The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region always respects and attaches great importance to the rights and freedoms (including the freedoms of assembly, of procession and of demonstration) protected under the Basic Law, said the Department of Justice in a statement (Apr 17). However, it should be noted that such rights and freedoms are not absolute and may be subject to restrictions which are, amongst others, in the interests of public order and the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
LegCo poll changes explained
Chief Executive Carrie Lam said 20 seats in the Legislative Council (LegCo) will be returned from 10 geographical constituencies under the new electoral system, when she unveiled the Improving Electoral System (Consolidated Amendments) Bill 2021 at a press conference (Apr 13). According to the amended Annex I and Annex II to the Basic Law which were adopted by the National People's Congress Standing Committee, LegCo will consist of 40 members from the Election Committee constituency, 30 from the functional constituencies and 20 from the geographical constituencies. The 20 geographical constituency members will be returned by the double seats and single vote method from 10 geographical constituencies across the city, with five in the New Territories, three in Kowloon and two on Hong Kong Island. The seventh term LegCo elections will take place on Dec 19.
Children’s smart ID replacement set
Children, who are Hong Kong residents, born in 2005 to 2007 or 2012 to 2018 and holding the old form of smart identity cards should apply for a new card from May 3 to Sep 18. They should go to the Smart Identity Card Replacement Centres to replace their identity cards with their parents or legal guardians. Appointments can be made online, on the department’s mobile application or by calling the 24-hour hotline (+1-852-2121-1234). For citizens born in 1970, 1971 or 1972, their identity card replacement period will end on April 30. Residents who are absent from Hong Kong during their call-up period can apply within 30 days of their return to the city.
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: Is Hong Kong an easy place to visit for tourists or international business people?
A: Yes, very much so. Hong Kong has autonomy in immigration control. It maintains its own immigration laws and procedures and has a very liberal visa policy. As of September 2018, 162 countries or territories have granted visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to HKSAR passport holders. (BL Articles 154; 155)

Follow us