The Government announced today (October 21) that the use of the "LeaveHomeSafe" mobile application when entering government buildings or offices will be strictly enforced next month. Starting from November 1, except for exempted persons, all government employees and members of the public will be required to use the app to scan the venue QR code before they are allowed to enter government buildings or offices.
"We notice that incomplete or even false personal particulars may be provided as we currently allow the registration of only the registrant's name and contact number as an alternative. This can greatly reduce the efficiency and precision of contact tracing when a confirmed case is found. If the viral transmission chain cannot be cut as early as possible, it may give rise to the risk of a community outbreak.
"With the global prevalence of COVID-19 and the high transmissibility of its mutant strains, it is necessary for the Government to refine and adopt more stringent measures by strictly enforcing the requirement of using the app and stepping up the verification of personal particulars. The measures are to ensure that the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health can conduct epidemiological investigations in a persistently efficient manner to protect the safety of members of the public and employees," a spokesman for the Government said.
"We hope that different private enterprises will be encouraged to follow the arrangement and implement the requirement of using the app in a more extensive and stringent manner," the spokesman added.
Under the new arrangement, persons who are aged below 12 or aged 65 or above, and those with disabilities that render use of the app difficult, will be exempted from the requirement of using the app when they enter government buildings and offices. However, they are required to complete a record form to register their names, the first four digits or letters of their identification documents, their contact numbers and the date and time of their visits. They are also required to present relevant identification documents for verification at the request of the staff on-site during registration. The staff will also verify the contact numbers by making phone calls.
In addition to the exempted persons mentioned above, relevant government bureaux or departments may grant exemptions to individual persons depending on the actual circumstances, and register and verify information provided by those persons.
The Government calls on members of the public to download and use the app as soon as possible and appeals for their co-operation with the staff on-site in respect of the instructions given as a concerted effort to minimise the risk of further transmission of the virus. Under the new arrangement, unwillingness to use the app will not be considered as justification for granting exemption.
The Government also reminds the public that any person who knowingly provides information that is false or misleading in a material particular is liable to prosecution. As it will take time to verify personal particulars of exempted persons under the new arrangement, their waiting time for using public services or entering the relevant premises may be lengthened. The Government appeals for the understanding of members of the public.
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