Relief for parents worried about UK jab-record rule

Top News | Wallis Wang 20 Sep 2021

Hong Kong parents with children studying in the United Kingdom could breathe a sigh of relief after the SAR government moved to change vaccine records to comply with new British quarantine requirements.

UK authorities warned on Friday that Hong Kong vaccine certificates do not meet the British requirement that will come into effect on October 4 because they do not contain the date of birth of the recipient.

But after a weekend of worries fro parents from the shock announcement, the Hong Kong government yesterday said it is adding the date of birth to the vaccine records.

Before the SAR government's response, a mother, whose daughter is studying at a UK boarding school, said: "This is getting crazier and crazier. When the news broke out in the UK on Friday, I could hardly sleep.

"It makes our kids' lives more difficult if they go back to Hong Kong for Christmas. It is already very difficult because of [the 21-day quarantine in Hong Kong]."

If parents fly to the UK to visit their children, they will also be quarantined for more than a week and need to take more leave from work, the mother said.

"I think being a Hongkonger is really miserable," she said.

The UK government said it will divide different areas around the world into two categories - "safe" and "red list" - from 4am on October 4.

Those traveling from a red-listed territory will be required to stay at a government-approved hotel for 10 days.

Although the SAR is not on the red list, Hongkongers may still need to undergo a mandatory quarantine because their vaccination records are not recognized by the UK government.

Acting British consul general to Hong Kong Tamsin Heath tweeted on Saturday that the SAR's vaccine certificate does not currently meet the UK's minimum criteria because there is no date of birth on it.

"We are working with the SAR government to get a swift resolution," she said.

Hong Kong authorities said yesterday it is updating the city's vaccination records to meet international travel rules.

"The SAR government has been made aware of the changes in travel rules to England by the UK government, including the requirement of showing the date of birth on the vaccination records regarding authorized Covid-19 vaccines," a government spokesman said.

"The Food and Health Bureau is working out the necessary arrangements to add the information of date of birth to the vaccination records in order to comply with the latest requirements of the UK government. We will announce the details once the arrangement is in place."

Currently, Hong Kong is on the UK's green list and travelers from the SAR need not undergo quarantine. They are only required to undergo a Covid-19 test before boarding flights to Britain and again two days after arrival.

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