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Flu jab booking set

Community vaccination centres (CVCs) in various districts will offer free seasonal influenza vaccination (SIV) to Hong Kong residents aged 50 or above when they are there for COVID-19 vaccination starting from October 6.   The Government announced today that eligible people can make reservations for receiving both COVID-19 vaccination and SIV through the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme booking system starting from 9am tomorrow.   They may also choose to receive the free SIV on site when they are receiving the COVID-19 jab starting from October 6.   Given that local seasonal influenza activity has been staying at low levels since February 2020, the overall immunity against influenza in the community is at present relatively low, the Government noted.   As the winter flu season is approaching, citizens are strongly urged to complete the recommended dosage of COVID-19 vaccines and the latest seasonal influenza vaccine as early as possible to obtain better protection in the event of

Quarantine arrangements clarified

Comments describing the latest compulsory quarantine arrangements for overseas arrivals at Hong Kong as a relaxation were made out of misunderstanding, the Government said today.   In its response, the Government explained that it has all along been adopting stringent border control measures with a science-based approach, including multiple tests prior to boarding flights, on arrival, during and after the quarantine periods. Such measures are adjusted when appropriate.   On August 2, it announced the strengthening of border control measures to build an anti-epidemic barrier.   Under the latest arrangements that took effect from August 9, the Group A or high-risk specified places were reorganised from the original Group A1 and Group A2 specified places.   None of these places was adjusted downward as a Group B specified place, thus no extremely high-risk or very high-risk places were made medium-risk places, the Government stressed.   Only fully vaccinated Hong Kong residents with a recognised vaccination record and their accompanied children aged below 12 are allowed to board flights for Hong Kong from high-risk places under the latest arrangements.   Upon arrival, they are subject to the test and hold arrangement at the airport. Then they can proceed to a designated quarantine hotel to undergo compulsory quarantine for 21 days only if their test results are negative, during which they must undergo four tests.   They are also required to undergo compulsory testing in a community testing centre on the 26th day of arrival in Hong Kong.   As for Group B or medium-risk specified places under the latest arrangements, they comprise the original Group B and Group C specified places, where compulsory quarantine and testing requirements remain unchanged. There is no relaxation on quarantine arrangements for people arriving from these places.   The Government added that the latest arrangements further strengthened relevant boarding and testing requirements.   Now all people arriving from overseas places must comply with the requirement of undergoing a COVID-19 nucleic acid test within 72 hours prior to boarding a flight to Hong Kong. Vaccinated people are also required to undergo additional compulsory tests after the quarantine period.   The Government said it will continue to closely monitor the epidemic situation of different places and consider a basket of factors under the risk-based principle to adjust the boarding, quarantine and testing requirements for people arriving in the city from relevant places based on risk levels as the situation warrants.
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