Feb 22, 2022 - World

Hong Kong to enforce mandatory COVID testing for all residents

Picture of a person getting tested for COVID-19. A health professional is taking a mouth swab from the person.

A health worker collects swab samples from a resident for COVID-19 testing in Hong Kong. Photo: Li Zhihua/China News Service via Getty Images

All Hong Kong residents will have to undergo compulsory COVID-19 testing in March, the city's leader Carrie Lam announced Tuesday.

Driving the news: Hong Kong is battling a coronavirus case surge, recording about 5,000 new cases per day since Feb. 15, according to government data.

The big picture: Lam said that testing capacity will increase to 1 million per day, adding that since "we have a population of some 7 million people, testing will take about seven days," per AP.

  • The government will provide at-home testing to residents so that they test themselves daily in between each compulsory test, Hong Kong Free Press reports. Residents will undergo three mandatory tests next month, per AP.
  • Schools will close early in order for them to be used as testing and vaccination sites.
  • No citywide lockdowns will be implemented, but current social-distancing measures — including the closure of gyms and bars, and no dine-in services after 6 p.m. local time — will be extended until April 20, AP notes.

What they're saying: "In the same manner, with the support of the central government — as long as all Hong Kong citizens stand together — we will certainly prevail against the pandemic and meet the rainbow after the storm," Lam said, per HKFP.

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