Over 700 penalty tickets were handed out between Christmas and New Year’s day for coronavirus social distancing rule violations, Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung said on Sunday.

The city’s no.2 official added that while the number of confirmed coronavirus cases may seem to be dropping, infection numbers might rebound after the Christmas and New Year holidays, and that the situation was worrying.

Domestic worker Covid-19 coronavirus
Photo: GovHK.

Cheung urged the public in a blog post to be “self-disciplined and cooperative,” keep to anti-epidemic rules and follow the government’s call in order to protect the health of themselves, their family and friends, and the community.

The chief secretary also asked the public to “actively” get vaccinated, adding that the government would be “open and transparent” to make sure society can have the vaccine information they need.

New clusters and compulsory testing

More locations were put under the compulsory testing order after new clusters emerged over the weekend.

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) announced that there was one confirmed transmission and ten preliminary coronavirus positive cases at a building site at the Tseung Kwan O-Lam Tin tunnel.

This was the second outbreak at the site within a month. The CHP had ordered all workers to be tested, and the building project was paused.

Coronavirus virus covid-19 testing
File photo: GovHK.

Visitors and residents from two estates were also told to complete a test. Anyone who had been to Un Shing House in Yuen Long or Fai Lam House in Tseung Kwan O for more than two hours had to be tested by Wednesday.

The government had also been criticised for delays in setting up mobile testing stations near buildings that were put under the compulsory testing order.

Last Wednesday, around 2,500 residents of Fu Wen House were told to be tested before Monday. However, a mobile testing station was only set up a day before the deadline after a contractor did not show up, saying that they were understaffed.

Before the mobile testing station was operational, residents had to cross districts to another MTR station to get a testing kit, Sham Shui Po District Councillor Ken Wong told RTHK.

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Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.