Hong Kong contact tracing app LeaveHomeSafe stops alerting users to restaurants visited by Covid patients


Hong Kong’s mobile contact-tracing app LeaveHomeSafe has stopped alerting users to confirmed Covid-19 cases who have visited restaurants users have frequented in order to ‘leave testing opportunities to those who have. really need,” the Center for Health Protection (CHP) said Sunday.

Previously, users received notifications from the government’s mobile app if they had been to restaurants visited by customers later diagnosed with Covid-19. Albert Au, CHP’s senior medical officer and health officer, said on Sunday the government had stopped notifying users because there was “a bottleneck in nucleic acid testing” in the city.

Albert Au, principal physician and health officer at the Center for Health Protection. Photo: RTHK, via video screenshot.

“However, this does not mean that citizens should be negligent if they do not receive notifications [from the application]we always recommend people with symptoms get tested,” Au said.

If citizens fail to scan a QR code using the mobile app at scheduled premises, such as restaurants, shopping malls and supermarkets, they face a fine of HK$5,000.

Hong Kong reported 26,026 new infections and 83 deaths on Sunday. Since the pandemic began more than two years ago, the city has reported 164,981 cases and 717 deaths.

Shortened quarantine period

The quarantine period for patients with Covid-19 and their close contacts has been shortened to seven days if they received at least two doses of the vaccine and tested negative on the sixth and seventh day of quarantine at government facilities or at residence.

However, according to the government’s announcement on Saturday, if fully vaccinated patients and close contacts test positive in either of their two tests on the sixth or seventh day of quarantine, they will have to continue the isolation period.

The Leave Home Safe app developed by the Hong Kong government for Covid-19 contact tracing. Photo: GovHK.

The day citizens receive their tests is considered the first day of their quarantine. And if they don’t have a history of testing, the day they receive their test results will be considered the first day of quarantine.

The government aims to isolate or hospitalize anyone who tests positive for Covid-19, including mild cases.

Online reporting system for self-testing

People who test positive for Covid-19 with a self-test kit will be able to upload their test results to an online system, and will not have to undergo a confirmatory nucleic acid test, in order “to avoid the duplication of resources and delays”. “System details will be announced later.

A rapid antigen test. File photo: provided.

Mandatory testing order requirements have also been changed, according to a government announcement last Friday.

For confined residents, subsequent mandatory tests will be replaced by self-tests. The government will also distribute self-test kits as a replacement for mandatory test orders in places of higher transmission risk, such as buildings with multiple cases.

Similar arrangements will also be made for staff in high-risk and high-exposure groups, such as people working in quarantine hotels.

Instead of taking a mandatory test every two or three days, they will be asked to take a test once a week. The government will also distribute self-testing kits to workers via industry practitioners, so they can test themselves more frequently between mandatory tests.


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