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Published: 22:47, December 09, 2021 | Updated: 22:49, December 09, 2021
HK logs 7 new cases, mandates diners use contact tracing app
By Wang Zhan
Published:22:47, December 09, 2021 Updated:22:49, December 09, 2021 By Wang Zhan

People wearing face masks line up to scan the government's contact tracing QR code for the LeaveHomeSafe COVID-19 mobile app before entering a market in Hong Kong on Nov 2, 2021. (KIN CHEUNG / AP)

HONG KONG – Hong Kong reported seven new COVID-19 infections as customers to all restaurants are required to use the contact-tracing app LeaveHomeSafe starting from Thursday.

The mandatory use of the app applies to all premises regulated under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business & Premises) Regulation, meaning that apart from restaurants, bars, sports centers, cinemas, nightclubs etc are also covered.

READ MORE: HKU researchers develop COVID-killing stainless steel

Customers and users of these premises must scan the LeaveHomeSafe venue QR code using the mobile app before entering the premises.

Customers and users of restaurants, bars and sports centers etc must scan the LeaveHomeSafe venue QR code using the mobile app before entering the premises starting from Thursday

Exemptions are granted to people aged 65 or above, children aged 15 or below and people with disability. These three groups of people could fill in a specified form as an alternative to the use of the app. The use of the app is also required at all government buildings and offices.

Thursday’s newly reported COVID-19 infections are all imported which involved mutant strains, according to Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection. The patients comprised four men and three women aged 30 to 57, including a foreign domestic helper from the Philippines. One of them carried the N501Y mutant strain while the remaining tested positive to the L452R strain, the center said.

Four patients tested positive during the "test-and-hold" arrangement upon arrival at Hong Kong International Airport while two tested positive during quarantine at designated quarantine hotels. The maid was found to be infected during quarantine at Penny's Bay Quarantine Centre. They have all been fully vaccinated. 

A total of 60 cases have been reported in the past 14 days and all of them are imported cases. The city's infection tally stood at 12,478.

According to the Hospital Authority, a total of 67 confirmed patients are currently hospitalized in the North Lantau Hospital Hong Kong Infection Control Centre and the Hospital Authority Infectious Disease Centre. Among them, one is in serious condition while the remaining are in stable condition.

ALSO READ: CE warns HK's low vaccine rate could limit border reopening

In another development, one passenger on an Air India passenger flight arriving in Hong Kong from Delhi on December 5 tested positive for COVID-19 on arrival. Another passenger on the same flight has failed to comply with relevant requirements specified for inbound travelers. 

The Department of Health thus invoked the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap 599H) to prohibit the landing of Air India passenger flights from Delhi operated in Hong Kong from December 9 to 22.

Travel curbs extended

In a separate announcement, the government said Estonia and Uganda will be specified as Group A (high-risk) specified places from December 12 and non-Hong Kong residents who have stayed in the two places within 21 days are not be allowed to enter the city.

The move came after Omicron cases were detected in these countries.

Hong Kong residents who have stayed in these places within the past three weeks can only board a flight for Hong Kong if they have been fully vaccinated and hold a recognized jab record.

They must also undergo compulsory quarantine in a designated quarantine hotel for 21 days upon arrival, with six tests to be conducted during quarantine, followed by compulsory testing in a community testing center on the 26th day of arrival at Hong Kong.

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