The first priority in order to resume cross-boundary travel is to bring the COVID-19 epidemic under control, Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip said today.
Meeting the media after a radio programme this morning, Mr Nip noted that more discussions between Hong Kong and the Mainland are needed on the resumption of travel between the two places.
“It is important to have an exchange of views and suggestions between the two sides because both of us are also very concerned about our respective epidemic situations, and the number one priority is to get our epidemic under control, having no further outbreak etc.
“We will continue our engagement with the Mainland authorities and we hope, of course just like everyone, to see cross-boundary travel as early as possible. But we have to do our job well first.”
Regarding the vaccination programme, Mr Nip said the majority of the Sinovac vaccine administration will be arranged through private doctors and clinics.
More than 1,000 private doctors will participate in the programme to provide vaccinations before mid-March, involving up to 1,500 private clinics.
People may contact their doctors and get vaccinated at the clinics. No central booking is required.
They can also receive the jabs at the five community vaccination centres from next Friday and online booking will start on Tuesday.
Mr Nip said: “We will launch the vaccination programme gradually and in phases. At first, it may not be at full capacity because we want to get the work flow smooth and healthcare workers engaged in the inoculation to get used to it.
“Also the public know about the procedures including each and every step, the documents they need to bring, and the points to note after vaccination, etc.
“We will do it as quickly as possible but at the same time in an orderly and safe manner, and will encourage more people to get vaccinated.”
For information on COVID-19 vaccines and the vaccination programme, visit the Government’s dedicated webpage.