A security guard wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) sits next to an escalator at the HSBC Holdings Plc headquarters building, temporary closed due to the coronavirus, in Hong Kong, China on March 17, 2021. (PHOTO / BLOOMBERG)
HSBC Holdings Plc plans to allow up to 50 percent occupancy in its offices starting on April 12 as local virus infections abate in the financial hub.
“Businesses and functions can have a maximum of 50 percent of employees by teams working from the offices starting 12 April provided there is no deterioration in the local situation before then,” the bank said in an internal memo. It had previously said only critical staff should come to the office.
Hong Kong has managed to contain a recent surge in cases after an outbreak at a gym popular with expatriates
The city has managed to contain a recent surge in cases after an outbreak at a gym popular with expatriates. The cluster -- the city’s second-biggest of the pandemic -- prompted HSBC to close its main Hong Kong office for a short period. Other firms, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc and UBS Group AG, also had more of their people work from home.
HSBC has about 30,000 employees in Hong Kong and the city contributed to more than 90 percent of its adjusted pretax profit last year. Departments operating on a split team basis for contingency purposes will continue to do so until further notice, according to the memo.
Hong Kong is set to ease some border and quarantine measures, including “lifting a ban on travelers from the UK” while non-residents from Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, deemed low Covid risk, can soon enter the city, the bank said in the memo.
A spokeswoman at the bank confirmed the contents of the memo.
The city’s virus-related measures are some of the toughest in the world, and the latest outbreak has been tamped down through measures such as sending hundreds of people into government quarantine facilities.
Hong Kong last week relaxed a number of COVID-19 related social distancing rules, including allowing swimming pools and public beaches to reopen.
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