Dear colleagues and students
Starting from Monday 17 January 2022, the first day of S2 teaching, HKU will introduce enhanced Covid-19 control measures. From this date, anyone wishing to enter the campus will need either to be fully vaccinated or to take weekly self-tests. I’m writing with details.
What do we mean by ‘fully vaccinated’?
Our understanding of ‘fully vaccinated’ draws on the Government’s list of recognized Covid-19 vaccines and doses (https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/pdf/list_of_recognised_covid19_vaccines.pdf). As this list is updated, we will post new links on HKU Covid-19 Info Hub. If there are significant changes, for instance relating to booster jabs, we will send out another bulk email.
What do we mean by ‘campus’?
Our campus extends to all HKU premises, such as Main Campus, the Medical Campus, PPDH, Kennedy Town Centre, all sports facilities, and so on. It also includes all HKU SPACE premises throughout HK. Some units may introduce modified Covid-19 control measures, which they will communicate directly to key stakeholders.
How will the system work?
We will invite all HKU staff and students to register their Covid-19 status either via HKU Portal or via a new mobile phone app: HKU Covid-19 Control App. They will then be able to access the campus using HKU ID cards. We’ll ask any non-registered person, including guests and casual visitors, to use FEHD’s eVT Code Verifier App. We’ll also accept original copies, photocopies, and screenshots of vaccination records and self-test results.
How will staff and students register their Covid-19 status with HKU?
Anyone with a HKU ID card (staff or student) will be able to register through HKU Portal or HKU Covid-19 Control App. For people who are fully vaccinated, this will be a simple one-off exercise and will only require further action when the notion of ‘fully vaccinated’ changes. For people who choose to self-test, it will require weekly updating of the self-test record.
What will registered staff and students need to do when they enter HKU?
We will install readers (housed in HKU green) at the entrances to HKU. Registered staff and students will need to tap their HKU ID cards on one of the readers to show they comply with HKU’s enhanced Covid-19 control measures. Security guards will be posted at major entrances to reach out to anyone in need of assistance. We’ll also link our new Covid-19 control measures with vehicle licence plate registration.
What will non-registered visitors need to do when they enter HKU?
We will install a second set of readers (housed in eVT blue) at the entrances to HKU. Non-registered visitors will need to scan the eVT QR code on one of the readers to show they comply with HKU’s enhanced Covid-19 control measures. Again, security guards will be on hand for anyone in need of help.
Will it be possible simply to show my vaccination record or self-test results to a security guard?
Yes, that will be fine. We will accept original copies, photocopies, and screenshots of vaccination records and self-test results.
Will these procedures apply every time someone enters HKU?
Yes, they will. The readers posted at HKU entrances will not retain any personal data, so we will have no way of knowing whether someone has already entered the campus on any given day.
Will there be exemptions?
Yes, we will follow Government guidelines on exemptions for children under the age of 12 (https://www.covidvaccine.gov.hk/en/faq).
Will there be exemptions for people who cannot take the Covid-19 vaccine?
No, there will not. People who cannot take the Covid-19 vaccine will still need to take a weekly self-test. HKU will provide free Covid-19 self-test kits for staff and students in this category, provided they have a medical certificate issued by a registered doctor or hospital.
What kinds of self-test are acceptable?
We will accept any major Covid-19 test recognized by the Government, such as deep throat saliva, combined throat and nasal swab, and nasopharyngeal swab (https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/early-testing.html).
Will HKU offer self-test kits at a discounted price?
Yes, through CEDARS we will make self-test kits available at a discounted price (currently HK$62 per kit, total cost including HK$2 cashless payment fee charge [updated 4 Jan 2022]).
What is the timeline?
Monday 3 January 2022: registration opens through HKU Portal and HKU Covid-19 Control App.
Monday 10 January 2022: soft launch of HKU’s enhanced Covid-19 control measures.
Monday 17 January 2022: full implementation of HKU’s enhanced Covid-19 control measures.
A comprehensive list of FAQs will be made available later this week at HKU Covid-19 Info Hub (https://covid19.hku.hk/). As usual, please drop me a line with queries: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best wishes for Xmas and the New Year — Ian
Ian Holliday, VP/T&L
Chair, Task Force on Infectious Diseases