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More HZMB private car quotas set

The governments of Hong Kong and Macau have agreed to increase the regular quotas for Hong Kong cross-boundary non-commercial private cars using the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge to Macau, the Transport Department announced today.   The decision was made to enhance traffic flow between Hong Kong and Macau, better utilising the bridge, the department said.   It will increase the Hong Kong quota by 1,000, following the earlier quota allocation of 1,800 for Hong Kong.   The additional quota will be distributed in two phases from the second quarter.   Half of the additional 1,000 quota allocations is for company applicants and the other half is for individual applicants. The quotas are valid for no more than three years. The eligibility criteria of quota applications remains the same.   Private cars allocated with Hong Kong quotas will be permitted to access the city of Macau multiple times using the bridge.   The Hong Kong quota allotments will be re-allocated upon expiry thro

Virus testing services enhanced

The Government today said the supply of COVID-19 testing services is being further enhanced to cope with the increasing demand for testing in order to meet anti-epidemic goals and facilitate the public.   The move was made having regard to the recent higher risk of transmission and infection in different premises or groups and the implementation of strengthened anti-epidemic measures for the resumption of economic and social activities.   Various groups can undergo testing through the free testing service and other channels.   At present, employees of scheduled premises and catering businesses, construction site workers, school staff, as well as local residents and staff subject to compulsory testing may receive free testing at community testing centres.   The number of tests available for appointments at community testing centres has been greatly increased to over 32,000 per day.   The appointment rate of the city's 19 community testing centres for the next seven days is only about 30%, with plenty of places available to meet the demand.   Moreover, about 20 mobile specimen collection stations are in service to provide free testing to the public. Some of them are dedicated to providing services to staff in catering businesses and scheduled premises under the Prevention & Control of Disease (Requirements & Directions) (Business & Premises) Regulation only.   The testing capacity should be sufficient to meet the demand of the relevant sectors. Staff from these sectors may get tested for free at community testing centres and mobile specimen collection stations in various districts.   In addition, they may also undergo testing through other channels, including obtaining deep throat saliva (DTS) collection packs at post offices, MTR stations or designated Hospital Authority (HA) general outpatient clinics, and return the DTS specimen to one of the more than 80 designated collection points.   Over the past few weeks, the Government has distributed an average of some 60,000 specimen collection packs daily, and the number of specimen bottles collected per day was about 27,000, which is less than half of the amount distributed.   The Government calls on the public and organisations to refrain from collecting more packs than needed so that others in need can also obtain them for testing.       Regarding the prolonged turnaround time of an HA testing contractor caused by an influx of testing demand within a short period of time, according to the concerned laboratory's report, the backlog has been cleared and the turnaround time for testing results has resumed normal to within 48 hours as per the contract requirement.   The Government and HA have increased the number of contractors and streamlined the distribution of the specimen bottles to different contractors. At present, most of the citizens who return the DTS specimen bottles can receive testing results within two to three days.
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