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Rural voter registration opens

The voter registration campaign for the 2021 Rural Representative Election opened today.   Those eligible should sign up by July 16, the Home Affairs Department said.   There are three types of rural representatives - Indigenous Inhabitant Representatives, Resident Representatives and Kaifong Representatives.   Indigenous Inhabitant Representatives are returned by indigenous inhabitants, their spouses or surviving spouses of an indigenous or composite indigenous village.   They reflect indigenous inhabitants’ views on village affairs, and deal with affairs relating to indigenous inhabitants’ lawful traditional rights and interests and the traditional way of life.   Resident Representatives are returned by both indigenous and non-indigenous inhabitants living in an existing village. They reflect views on village affairs on behalf of the residents.   Kaifong Representatives, returned by Cheung Chau or Peng Chau residents, reflect residents’ views on the two market towns’ affa

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 the antibodies to develop, and the customers have received their first jab, restaurants will be able to set up special zones where at least eight diners per table can sit together for a meal until 2am. Banquets of up to 100 guests can also resume once these conditions are met.   Mrs Lam said: “This ‘vaccine bubble’ is very much based on the individual's behaviour or the group of individuals or the venue-based group of individuals.   “If you have been vaccinated and all the staff in the restaurant have been vaccinated, then they can enjoy the relaxed measures in terms of the number of customers per table, the operating hours.”   The easing of social distancing measures based on the “vaccine bubble” principle will also apply to six types of establishments including bars, karaokes and nightclubs which can be reopened in phases after they meet the vaccination requirements for their staff and customers.   The Chief Executive noted that the measures are not expected to be launched until near the end of the month, pending discussion with the relevant trades, adding that the Government does not plan to make vaccination a compulsory requirement at this stage.   “I have announced that the set of social distancing measures that is in place, which will expire on Thursday (April 15), will be extended for two weeks up to April 28. If all the preparatory work and discussion with stakeholders could be completed well within this two-week period, then they can start to kick in in the next round of these measures. That is at least our target.”
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