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Social distancing to be relaxed

(To watch the full press conference with sign language interpretation, click here.)   The Government plans to adjust the social distancing measures for restaurants based on staff and customers having been vaccinated against COVID-19 and patrons using the LeaveHomeSafe mobile application.   Chief Executive Carrie Lam made the statement during a press conference today, noting that Hong Kong was entering a new phase in its fight against the virus.   Under the “vaccine bubble”, the number of people allowed to be seated together at one table in restaurants will be increased from four to six, and their dine-in service can be extended from 10pm to midnight on the condition that all staff have been vaccinated and patrons use the LeaveHomeSafe mobile app.   Customers using the LeaveHomeSafe mobile app when entering the eatery would no longer need to fill in their personal information on a paper form.   If all the restaurant staff are fully vaccinated with both doses, plus 14 days for

Vaccination advice issued

(To watch the full media session with sign language interpretation, click here.)   An expert committee today advised people with chronic illnesses to defer receiving the COVID-19 vaccination until their condition is under control.   The Expert Committee on Clinical Events Assessment Following COVID-19 Immunisation made the appeal after meeting this afternoon to assess serious adverse events relating to the vaccination.   Since the launch of the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, seven death cases have been reported involving those who had been vaccinated. The deceased ranged in age from 55 to 80.   The committee's Co-convener Prof Ivan Hung said full autopsy reports are still pending for the two earliest cases involving a 63-year-old man and a 55-year-old woman, while the cause of death for the remaining five cases was not directly associated with the vaccination.   However, he noted that the five cases had heart-related diseases and advised those with heart problems to bring their condition under control before getting the jab.   “For patients who have got very stable diseases or chronic illnesses including cardiovascular disease, they will be encouraged to receive the vaccination.   “We only refer to patients who have symptoms or have very poor control, for example, their hypertension is very poorly controlled or they have very poorly controlled diabetes, or they have ongoing symptoms for example, chest pain or shortness of breath on exertion.   “So for these patients we would suggest them to defer the vaccination until they have controlled their current illnesses, and then of course they could receive the vaccine afterwards.”   Prof Hung added that the Government's guidelines can be used as a reference for both patients and doctors when making a decision on vaccination.   “For the current guidelines or the recommendations from the Department of Health, I think the recommendations that they posted are very important and would be helpful for both patients and family practitioners who are giving the vaccine to these patients as a so-called recommendation or guideline.”
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