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Thursday, Apr 25, 2024

Rapid tests to replace nucleic acid tests for hospitals and care homes starting Wed

Rapid tests to replace nucleic acid tests for hospitals and care homes starting Wed

The Government reminded members of the public that the nucleic acid testing requirement for public hospitals, residential care homes for the elderly and residential care homes for persons with disabilities will be replaced by rapid antigen tests starting from Wednesday (Mar 1).
Starting from March 1, visitors of public hospitals and care homes only need to undergo an RAT within 24 hours prior to their visit and obtain a negative result for entry.

Clinical staff of public hospitals as well as staff and residents of the care homes should continue to undergo an RAT once a day, with a view to maintaining protection for targeted groups and key premises, authorities said in a statement on Monday.

Separately, following the complete lifting of compulsory nucleic acid testing requirements, free nucleic acid testing service in the community testing network will cease accordingly from the same day onwards.

A total of 21 community testing centers and community testing stations will be retained for provision of self-paid nucleic acid testing service to members of the public from 10am to 8pm daily, the statement added.

Meanwhile, the Hospital Authority announced that public hospitals will further relax visiting arrangement from Wednesday, with some hospitals’ visiting sessions and hours adjusted to allow patients to have more time to meet with family members.

Visiting hours of public hospitals are currently limited to two hours per day. From March 1 onwards, public hospitals will adjust their visiting sessions and hours subject to ward operations.

Visiting hours of some hospital wards would be longer than two hours. Various visiting hours will also be arranged to allow family members to have more flexibility and more time to meet with patients.

There will also be no restriction on the number of visitors. Visitors can take turns to visit but only two visitors are allowed to enter the ward at the same time for each patient, according to the announcement.
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