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Welfare cases dip 0.2%

The overall Comprehensive Social Security Assistance caseload dropped by 459 cases to 199,941 in January, down 0.2% from December last year, the Social Welfare Department announced today.   The total number of recipients was 273,349.   Low-earnings cases registered a month-to-month reduction of 0.8% to 1,568. Unemployment cases fell 0.6% to 17,075.   Single parent cases dropped 0.5% to 20,385. Old age cases dipped 0.3% to 112,032.   Meanwhile, ill-health cases increased 0.3% to 27,817, and permanent disability cases remained steady at 17,164. http://dlvr.it/T32R7Z

Social distancing rules maintained

The Government today announced that it will maintain the social distancing measures currently in place for 14 days starting August 5.   The Food & Health Bureau noted that the Delta mutant strain ravaging the world has posed incredible challenges to local anti-epidemic efforts.   There is a need for Hong Kong to build up double barriers against COVID-19 by strengthening measures on preventing the importation of cases and enhancing the vaccination rate, the bureau noted.   The existing social distancing measures will be maintained for 14 days before significant progress can be achieved.   Meanwhile, taking into account the operational risk of catering businesses, especially the fact that customers do not wear a mask when consuming food or drinks within the premises, the Government will tighten the testing requirement for staff of catering businesses which adopt the Type B Mode of Operation within August.   The staff will be required to undergo more frequent testing, from the current requirement of testing once every 14 days to testing once every seven days.   Fully vaccinated staff will be regarded as having complied with the testing requirement.   Details will be announced in due course, the bureau added.
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