Minibus and taxi drivers, boat operators must be fully immunised to transport passengers

…casinos, cinemas can open for fully-immunised patrons only

The National COVID-19 measures have now stipulated that operators of public transportation must be completely immunised against the novel coronavirus, as a requirement to transport passengers in the country.
The measures will take effect from August 1, 2021, and will end on August 31, 2021 – unless earlier terminated, extended or amended by notice of the Health Minister after an assessment of the prevailing public health conditions. This section covers conductors, drivers, and operators of minibuses, taxis and speedboats.
In order to transport members of the public, the gazetted document stipulates that, “Every operator and conductor of any public transportation service shall be vaccinated and have in their possession, an official identification document and their vaccination card, and shall produce these documents when requested to do so by a policy officer or any authorised by the Minister of Health”.
Meanwhile, casinos, betting shops or cinemas have been given the greenlight to operate but only at forty per cent capacity of the building or seating area. Patrons will only be allowed entry upon possession of a vaccination card to show their immunisation status.
“The operator of the casino, betting shop or cinema shall ensure that only vaccinated patrons are at their place of business and those patrons have in their possession an official identification document and their vaccination card, which they shall produce when requested to do so by the operator or any person authorised by the Minister of Health.”
There shall be no concession stand at a cinema. The document states that any operator of a casino, betting shop or cinema who contravenes this provision commits and offence and is liable on summary conviction to the penalty provided under Section 152 of the Public Health Ordinance.
Outdoor dining is permitted at restaurants at 60 per cent capacity and tables placed six feet apart. Patrons at these businesses, except for children, must be vaccinated and have in their possession, an official identification document in addition to their vaccination card.
These emergency measures are made pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2)(b) of the Direction by the President, given under the Public Health Ordinance, cap 145, and published in the Gazette, Legal Supplement – B, March 16, 2020.
After a rapid assessment of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic was conducted by the Government, it has found the measures are needed to keep the population safe. The Order notes that the current measures are extended to allow for further assessments and consultations to develop updated protocols to aid in the combatting of the COVID-19 spread.
Meanwhile, the curfew will continue from 22:30h to 04:00h throughout the month of August. There are still restrictions on social activities, where no one shall host or attend a private party, banquet, ball, reception, hotel swimming pool or waterpark, wage, vigil, club, discotheque, social club, civil organisation or association, fraternal society; or any other social activity.
“No recreational activities shall be allowed on any river, creek, beach, swimming pool or internal waters. Physical exercise is permitted only in parks, on roads, seawalls, beaches and by rivers and creeks and where group exercise is conducted, persons shall remain a physical distancing of six feet from each other.”
The measures have remained unchanged for essential services to operate 24 hours a day, and these include: hospitals, pharmacies, the Judiciary, Parliament, diplomatic corps, Disciplined Services, solid waste management, airports, hotels or other accommodations, energy services, mining operations, security services, telecommunication providers, fisherfolks, limited port operations, construction, post service and freight, funeral homes, among others.
In addition, from 04:00h to 21:30h, stakeholders will still be able to access services at banks, markets, supermarkets, grocery shops, gas stations, postal or shipping services, beauty salons, barbershops, hardware stores, clothing stores; or other maintenance services.