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RAT kit distribution continues

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The distribution of free rapid antigen test (RAT) kits to the elderly will be extended till the end of June, the Government announced today.   Around 6 million RAT kits have been distributed by the Government to people aged 60 or above through various elderly service units since the distribution arrangement was launched in mid-April.   The Government explained that in light of the gradual relaxation of social distancing measures and the increase in social activities, it decided to extend the distribution of the free RAT kits till end-June to encourage seniors to undergo voluntary testing from time to time and monitor their health condition.        People aged 60 or above may collect the RAT kits in person at the designated service units. They should bring along their identification documents, Senior Citizen Card or JoyYou Card for verification purposes.   Only five sets of RAT kits can be provided each time. Recipients should not collect the kits on behalf of other people or co

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Views on environmental issues sought

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The Environmental Protection Department said today that it will hold two online public engagement forums in June to solicit views from citizens on the optimisation of the statutory environmental impact assessment (EIA) process.   The Chief Executive announced in the 2021 Policy Address that the Government will conduct a comprehensive review on the EIA Ordinance process.   In March, the department briefed members of the relevant Legislative Council panel and the Advisory Council on Environment on how the statutory process could be enhanced, in order to optimise it, enhance operational efficiency and focus more on environmental outcomes.   The two online public engagement forums will be held on June 8 and June 13 from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, with the first one conducted in English and the second one in Cantonese.   Those who are interested can register online by June 2.   Members of the public are also welcome to email their views and suggestions to the department by June 30. http://

Apr exports value up 1.1%

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The value of Hong Kong’s total goods exports increased to $389 billion in April, up 1.1% compared with the same month last year, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   The value of imports of goods rose 2.1% to $425.6 billion for the same period.   A trade deficit of $36.6 billion, or 8.6% of the value of imports, was recorded for the month.   Comparing the three-month period ending April with the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, the value of total exports decreased 12% while that of imports fell 11.7%.   The Government said epidemic-induced transportation disruptions, though easing somewhat in the latter part of the month, continued to constrain export performance.   It pointed out that exports to the Mainland fell while those to the US and the European Union posted visible growth.   Looking ahead, the global economic outlook has worsened amid rampant inflation in some major economies and monetary policy tightening by respective cen

Jab pass plan to expand

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The vaccine pass arrangement will be implemented in designated healthcare premises under the Food & Health Bureau, the Department of Health and the Hospital Authority (HA) starting June 13, the Government announced today.   The vaccine pass arrangement is applicable to the 13 types of designated healthcare premises primarily providing non-emergency or non-urgent medical services through appointments, such as HA specialist out-patient clinics, and government dental clinics and orthodontic clinics.   Service users and visitors at designated healthcare premises must present upon request their vaccination record, including recovery record, medical exemption certificate, or the negative result proof of a nucleic acid test that is only applicable to service users for staff members' checking. There is no need to scan the vaccine pass QR code.   Service users and visitors who enter the designated healthcare premises for collecting RAT kits, undergoing COVID-19 testing or receivin

BUSINESS GOVirtual Expo & Conference 2022

BUSINESS GOVirtual Expo & Conference (BUSINESS GOVirtual), the Hong Kong's first physical B2B "Tech x Business" event in the post-pandemic period, gathers leading IT companies and solutions providers under one roof to demonstrate their latest technologies. It is also the platform where showcases the key technological advancements for social and business engagement in the new digital era. The development of the Greater Bay Area is accorded the status of critical strategic planning in the Chinese government's blueprint, with great significance in China's initiative on innovation-driven development. Strategically held in Hong Kong, the international innovation and technology hub, BUSINESS GOVirtual serves as a communication platform for tech companies to exchange ideas, collaborate and foster partnerships. On top of the physical event, the brand new "GOVirtual OMNI," an online platform for the Expo and Conference, welcomes regional exhibitors and visito

CE views polling, counting stations

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Chief Executive Carrie Lam today inspected the main polling station and central counting station for the 2022 Chief Executive Election at the Convention & Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai to know more about the final stage of the preparatory work for the poll.   Accompanied by Secretary for Constitutional & Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang and Electoral Affairs Commission Chairman Barnabas Fung, Mrs Lam learnt about the set-up of the main polling station, epidemic prevention measures, security arrangements and counting procedures of the election during her visit.   She also gave encouragement to the electoral staff participating in rehearsal sessions there.   Mrs Lam said: “The 2022 Chief Executive Election was the third major election under the improved electoral system.   “It is vital that all electoral staff are well versed in their duties and procedures to ensure the smooth conduct of this election. I hope that every colleague will be fully committed to making this a histo

Govt to ease social distancing rules

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The Government today announced a further relaxation of social distancing measures with a view to relaunching social and economic activities in an orderly manner.   In a press release, the Government explained that following the first stage of relaxation since April 21, the COVID-19 epidemic situation in Hong Kong has remained under control.   As the number of daily new cases has been on a continuous downward trend without a salient sign of rebound, coupled with the fact that Vaccine Pass requirements have been put in place since April 30, it considered that Hong Kong is ready to implement the second stage of relaxation in social distancing measures from May 19 as scheduled, and suitably advance the easing of certain measures from May 5.   Starting on May 5, three social distancing measures will be eased. First, the maximum number of people per table in catering premises will be increased from four to eight.   Second, swimming pools will be reopened, but users must wear masks at