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Bay area exam creates opportunities

I am delighted to learn that the inaugural Greater Bay Area Legal Professional Examination was held successfully in Hong Kong today. I am truly grateful to the Ministry of Justice for its policy on implementing the Greater Area Bay exam and related training, and its dedicated efforts all along.   The bay area exam, originally scheduled to be held earlier this year, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ministry then decided to set up new examination venues in Hong Kong in addition to those in Shenzhen and Zhuhai, and signed a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Justice for the department to co-ordinate with the Hong Kong Examinations & Assessment Authority to handle examination-related work. Such arrangement has brought great convenience to Hong Kong candidates.   Thanks to the ministry’s staunch support all along, the bay area exam was set up in response to the suggestions and aspirations of the Hong Kong legal sector. It will no doubt provide an exten

Travel scheme to be extended

(To watch the full press conference with sign language interpretation, click here.)   The Government today announced the Return2hk Scheme will be extended from Guangdong Province and Macau to other Mainland provinces and municipalities.   Starting from April 29, Hong Kong residents not having stayed in places other than Hong Kong, the Mainland or Macau, or any places in the Mainland designated as medium and high-risk in the past 14 days before arriving in Hong Kong can be exempted from the 14-day compulsory quarantine requirement.   The online booking system for the scheme will be open for applications by Hong Kong residents who plan to return from the Mainland through the Hong Kong International Airport from April 27.   To ensure Hong Kong residents return to the city under the scheme in a gradual and orderly manner to avoid increased public health risks at overcrowded airport and ports, a quota arrangement will still be in place under the extended scheme.   A daily quota of 1,000 has been set for the airport, while those for the land boundary control points of the Shenzhen Bay Port and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) Hong Kong Port will remain unchanged.   They are 3,000 per day for the Shenzhen Bay Port and 2,000 each day for the HZMB Hong Kong Port.    Additionally, the Come2hk Scheme, to be launched in mid-May, will facilitate non-Hong Kong residents staying in Guangdong and Macau to come to Hong Kong without being subject to compulsory quarantine requirements upon fulfilment of specified conditions.   Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip announced the details of the Return2hk Scheme’s extension at a press conference this morning.   Mr Nip also said the Government is discussing the possibility of exempting Hong Kong citizens entering the Mainland from quarantine requirements with Mainland authorities.   He said: "I’m sure that everyone in Hong Kong would like to see the early opening of travel between the Mainland and Hong Kong.   “In the eyes of the Mainland authorities, I’m sure that they would look at Hong Kong, whether Hong Kong is, in their classification, still a high-risk area or medium-risk area. As long as we are still considered a medium or high-risk area, I’m sure that we would be far from achieving that.   “So these are the areas we have to work very hard on: to put our epidemic situation under control, reduce our number of confirmed cases to zero or near zero, get rid of all unlinked cases, and also achieve a high level of vaccination rate. I think these are the things, the priority areas, that we must work hard on.”
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