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Artificial island study set

The Government today awarded a consultancy agreement for the study on the artificial islands in the Central Waters to Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong with a contract value of about $220 million.   The Civil Engineering & Development Department said the agreement mainly comprises a detailed planning and engineering study for the 1,000-hectare artificial islands around Kau Yi Chau.   There will also be a feasibility study on the priority road link and the priority rail link connecting the artificial islands.   The study is scheduled to start tomorrow for completion within 42 months.   The artificial islands in the Central Waters is one of the initiatives to increase land supply under the Lantau Tomorrow Vision announced by the Chief Executive in her 2018 Policy Address.   The drive aims to alleviate the acute shortage of land in the medium-to-long run, and to meet Hong Kong’s long-term housing, social and economic development needs. http://dlvr.it/S1lyqs

Quarantine measures to be adjusted

The Government today said it will adjust the quarantine arrangements for people who have stayed in overseas places other than those that are extremely high-risk and very high-risk under the vaccine bubble concept.   Answering lawmakers’ questions at the Legislative Council, Secretary for Food & Health Prof Sophia Chan noted that some places are considering or have announced the reduction or lifting of quarantine for vaccinated people as COVID-19 vaccination rates around the world are rapidly increasing.   She explained that the Government made the decision after considering that the epidemic situation in certain places have stabilised and pose lower public health risks.   After the adjustment, the basic boarding and quarantine requirements will remain unchanged for high-risk and medium-risk places, ie Group B and Group C specified places.   New arrangements will be applied to fully vaccinated people who have stayed in these places to shorten their compulsory quarantine period from 21 days to 14 days under the vaccine bubble concept.   The compulsory quarantine period for fully vaccinated people who have stayed in low-risk Group D specified places, ie Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, will also be shortened from 14 days to seven days.   These people will be required to self-monitor for seven days and undergo compulsory testing after completing their shortened quarantine.   Meanwhile, the Government is implementing the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme at full speed.   A higher vaccination rate will give Hong Kong better leverage to negotiate with other places on the arrangements for resuming cross-boundary travel, Prof Chan emphasised.   She said the Government has started to consider procuring the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines to plan for the next phase of the vaccination programme, adding that the protection power of the vaccines against mutant virus strains is an important factor when considering to authorise and procure COVID-19 vaccines in the future.
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