Secretary for Labour and Welfare Chris Sun said the sick leave arrangements for infected employees will be as same as other diseases under the Employment Ordinance.
The HKSAR government has announced the cancellation of issuing isolation orders to COVID-infected persons effective 30 January 2023.
In other words, all persons who test positive for COVID-19 are no longer required to undergo isolation from now on.
The Health Officer will no longer issue isolation orders to infected persons. All persons who test positive (including by nucleic acid and RATs) are not required to report and provide personal particulars via the online platforms of the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH).
The "Declaration System for Individuals Tested Positive for COVID-19 Using Rapid Antigen Test", the "Online self-reporting for COVID-19 patient", as well as the relevant automatic telephone voice registration system have also ceased operation on the same day. The CHP will upload the number of specimens that tested positive by nucleic acid tests as well as the number of deaths onto the "COVID-19 Thematic Website" every day in lieu of the current practice of issuing press releases.
Meanwhile, the Health Officer will cancel the active isolation orders issued by that time. Those who are currently under isolation at designated premises, including their places of residence or isolation facilities, are no longer required to continue their isolation. The Government will arrange for them to leave the isolation facilities in an orderly manner, and gazette the notice of relevant cancellation arrangements.
In view of the adjustments, the Government will also suspend the distribution of anti-epidemic kits to confirmed cases. All general outpatient clinics (GOPCs) of the Hospital Authority (HA), including those that had suspended some services earlier, have now resumed normal service. All GOPCs are now providing treatment for COVID-19 confirmed patients. Confirmed patients can also seek consultations at the Chinese Medicine Clinics cum Training and Research Centres (CMCTRs) in the 18 districts, or receive treatment from private doctors registered with the Electronic Health Record Sharing System who have obtained the COVID-19 antivirals for managing COVID-19 cases.
The CHP provides the following health advice to infected persons:
- Observe personal hygiene; reduce contacts with household members without wearing masks, open windows to ensure adequate ventilation of the unit, as well as clean and disinfect the household environment every day;
- Symptomatic persons should stay at home for rest and avoid going out. Infected persons who belong to high-risk groups, or develop obvious symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, shortness of breath, vomiting and diarrhoea), or get worsening symptoms, should seek medical attention as soon as possible;
- Those who do not feel well and in need of sick leave certificates should seek medical attention from a registered medical practitioner or Chinese medicine practitioner. Doctors will issue sick leave certificates and prescribe, with prudence, COVID-19 oral drugs to patients according to their clinical situation;
- Asymptomatic persons can go out on their will or go to work. To protect the young and the elderly, students who have tested positive should not attend schools until they have tested negative by RATs, while infected staff members of residential care homes for the elderly (RCHEs) and residential homes for persons with disabilities (RCHDs) are not advised to go to work;
- People who have tested positive without symptoms should avoid going to public hospitals or general out-patient clinics with a view to preserving public healthcare service capacity for those in need;
- Infected persons should wear well-fitting surgical masks, KF94, KN95 masks, or respirators (such as N95 masks) during the first five days after testing positive. They should avoid having contact with high-risk individuals or having meals with other people at the same table. They should not go to crowded places or attend mass gatherings.
Having considered that some infected persons may wish to stay at the community isolation facilities (CIF) to minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19 in the household if their living environment is crowded or their household members fall into high-risk groups, the CIFs will remain in operation for a short period of time for use by Hong Kong residents.
Recently-infected persons who are Hong Kong residents and need to stay at CIFs may contact the Fire Services Department for transfer arrangement if needed. They can stay at the CIF for up to seven days. If they choose to leave the CIF earlier, negative results by RATs are not required but they cannot return to the CIF once they have left.
Given that confinees are admitted to the CIF on a voluntary basis, they will not be issued with any sick leave certificate or proof of infection by the Civil Aid Service, the HA or the DH.
The relevant transitional arrangement will last until 28 February 2023.
The sick leave arrangements for infected employees will be as same as other diseases, said Chris Sun, Secretary for Labour and Welfare, at the press conference on 19 January 2023. Employers must give sick leave and allowances to relevant employees in accordance with the Employment Ordinance, given the sick leave taken is not less than four consecutive days and supported by an appropriate medical certificate.
Images / HKSAR Government Press Releases