Canteen off-limits for Nan Fung's unvaccinated employees

Top News | Carine Chow 11 Jun 2021

Property conglomerate Nan Fung Group has warned that unvaccinated staff could be transferred to another position or banned from eating in the office if they do not have valid medical reasons for not getting the jab.

The group sent an internal notice saying those who are fully vaccinated by the end of next month could receive rewards, including four days of paid leave and free health checks, while staff from departments with an inoculation rate of over 90 percent will receive a HK$500 reward each.

But those who fail to get a shot may risk having "alternative working arrangements."

The notice added: "Such may include, but is not limited to, asking unvaccinated staff to conduct regular Covid testing, transferring to another position that may require less interaction with customers and colleagues and disallowing unvaccinated staff to eat any food within the office area."

Nan Fung, which employs around 3,000 staff, has also rolled out a lucky draw that will see winning employees split a cash prize of HK$100,000.

Meanwhile, BOC Life and chain clinic EC Healthcare will offer free vaccine suitability health checks to 10,000 people. From Wednesday, HK ID holders above 18 may register on BOC Life's website for the checks on a first-come, first-served basis.

The free consultation includes screenings for diabetes, cardiovascular risk and gout, as well as tests for renal and liver functions.

"We encourage people to receive the jab, which is key for building a Covid-19-free Hong Kong and resuming normal life," BOC Life chief Wilson Tang Chee-ping said.

The plan was announced as Hong Kong Patients' Voices chairman Alex Lam Chi-yau urged businesses to sponsor health checks for the grassroots rather than conduct lotteries.

"If businesses can give out a HK$10 million or HK$20 million flat in lucky draws for vaccinated people, why don't they allow thousands of people to consult family doctors before vaccination? This would be a more practical and safe way to do so," Lam said.

He expressed concern that the draws may wrongly encourage some people to get the jabs even if they are unfit for vaccination.

"If their health was impaired from taking the risk, it could not be compensated with money," Lam said.

Separately, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department published a list of type C and D restaurants that will be allowed to house more diners per table and extend opening hours as they had fulfilled vaccination requirements.

"All catering businesses may not change their mode of operation between a catering business and bar/pub during the specified period," a department spokesman said.

So far, only four restaurants - Four Seasons Hong Kong, Boomerang & Gram, The China Bar in Central, and Bliss Bar in Mong Kok - are under type D, with dining hours extended to 2am and eight persons allowed per table.

More than 600 restaurants have registered for type C, which will allow them to operate until midnight with up to six persons per table.

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