On 30 September the Chamber held its seventh and final lucky draw in our “Hong Kong We Can Do It!” campaign to encourage citizens to get vaccinated.
Over the last three months, we have given away prizes worth more than HK$43 million to Hong Kong residents who have had both their vaccine shots. Three lucky individuals each won a Mercedes Benz C-Class saloon, with others winning prizes including luxury hotel stays, annual MTR passes, as well as hundreds of cinema, shopping and dining vouchers.
We are extremely grateful to our sponsors for their generosity: the lucky draw has provided some fun for Hong Kong citizens and helped bring the full re-opening of our economy closer.
The vaccination take-up rate rose sharply at the beginning of June and millions more Hong Kong people have had their shots since then. The Chamber’s campaign played an important part alongside other initiatives across the city to create this momentum, and I think we can all be proud of the role the Chamber has played in promoting an initiative that is good for business, good for the economy and good for Hong Kong.
Hong Kong’s fully vaccinated rate is now at 62%, and 67% of citizens have received their first shot. We are getting closer to the advised level which will provide more safety and widespread protection against Covid.
A final hurdle is the city’s elderly population, who have the lowest rate of vaccination to date. So we appreciate the Government’s recent announcement that it will reach out to these citizens with health talks, consultations and on-site vaccinations. We hope that these steps will help ease the concerns of our elderly neighbours, who are at the highest risk from the coronavirus.
More and more economies are opening up. With 80% of its over-12 population fully vaccinated, Denmark last month lifted all of its domestic restrictions. Closer to home, Singapore has launched a pilot Vaccinated Travel Pass scheme with Germany and Brunei, doing away with quarantine requirements for travelers in both directions.
Here in Hong Kong, the first participants in the “Come2hk” scheme arrived in the city on 15 September. This scheme – which enables non-Hong Kong residents to arrive from the Mainland without quarantine – is a welcome step in what will hopefully be a progressive opening of our borders.
Hong Kong has had virtually no local cases of Covid for months now, a testament to our success in dealing with the virus. We hope we will not have to wait much longer to see further easing of our travel restrictions, allowing key sectors of our economy to start operating normally once again.