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Tuesday, Dec 06, 2022

Connection race for health code

Connection race for health code

An internet connection will be required for premises that need to check vaccine passes - such as restaurants - as part of the new health code arrangement for Covid patients and overseas arrivals, authorities said.
Deputy government chief information officer Tony Wong Chi-kwok said operators will have a two-week grace period to update their QR code verification scanner to make sure it can connect to the internet to check customers' records.

"During this [updating] process, premises can first use visual inspection to see if people present an amber health code for scanning, or even whether there are people holding a red health code," he said.

On Monday, authorities announced updates to the LeaveHomeSafe Covid-tracking application, which will now have a duo-color system.

Wong said the application will cross reference with the Department of Health's confirmed cases and quarantine list data then issue a red or yellow health code to show the user's health status.

Under the newly announced 3+4 quarantine arrangement, travelers are required to undergo three days of hotel quarantine and four days of home quarantine. Their "LeaveHomeSafe" application will appear as amber and they will be restricted from activities in the high-risk areas.

People who are confirmed with Covid-19 will have a red health code and are required to stay in until they test negative.

Wong reiterated that despite the LeaveHomeSafe application containing users' personal information, data will be encrypted so it will not be disclosed when it is scanned.

The gearing up came as the vice-chairman of the New Territories School Heads Association, Chu Wai-lam, advised students with a yellow code to stay at home for online classes. However, he also called for clearer guidelines for schools to cope with new quarantine measures in the coming school year.

"The duo-color code is a new mechanism for citizens to go back to normal life," Secretary for Education Christine Choi Yuk-lin said.

For his part, Secretary for Health Lo Chung-mau said cutting the quarantine period for overseas arrivals will not lead to an increase in Covid cases.

The authorities analyzed the data of confirmed cases from travelers in the past four weeks. Half of the cases were found immediately at the airport and many others were afterwards discovered during the second day of hotel quarantine.

"With less than 1 percent of confirmed cases found after three-day of hotel quarantine, and combined with the duo-color code system, I'm confident that there will not be an increase of transmissions or confirmed cases in the community."

Hong Kong yesterday reported 4,045 new Covid infections - 3,783 local cases and 262 imported - and three deaths. The fatalities were two men and a woman, aged 87 to 93, all of whom had chronic diseases.
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