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The Hong Kong government announced this week that all government employees except those providing emergency and essential public services will continue to work from home until 20 January, as the fourth wave of COVID-19 remains active. About 180,000 civil servants will be affected. 

The government also urged private companies to allow their employees to work from home to keep social contacts in the community to a minimum. 

The situation will be closely monitored and arrangements will be reviewed before 20 January.

The government noted that since the outbreak of the fourth wave of the virus, departments have proactively mobilised staff to join in the anti-pandemic effort in different roles, including the implementation of mandatory and voluntary virus testing. The government said it will continue to flexibly deploy manpower to support efforts to curb the virus, adding that departments will announce the latest arrangements of their services separately.

Chief executive Carrie Lam said there is still a long way ahead for Hong Kong to get back on track despite signs of case numbers abating since late December.

The government first announced the special working arrangement in December when daily recorded cases begun rising again to more than 100. 

 Photo/ The Standard