About 35,000 Hong Kong Book Fair tickets will be offered to people who have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine jab when the fair is held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from July 14 to July 20.
Sixty out of 738 exhibitors will be offering discounts or promotions for vaccinated citizens, says the Trade Development Council.
The council's deputy executive director, Benjamin Chau Kai-leung, said yesterday those who have received at least one jab can attend the fair for free after showing vaccination records.
But he said the 35,000 free admission tickets will be made available in limited quotas every day of the fair on a first-come first-served basis.
The prizes offered by more than 60 exhibitors include book discounts, cash vouchers and gifts. Vaccinated visitors can also buy special editions of some books.
"Although the publishing industry and TDC won't be able to offer flat units or gold bars, we also want to make a contribution to encourage vaccination," Chau said.
Visitors could pay the entrance fee with Octopus - HK$25 for adults and $10 for children. They will be required to use the LeaveHomeSafe app or fill in a form, and cannot take off their masks inside the hall.
All exhibitors and staff members are required to be fully vaccinated before the book fair, or they will have to provide a negative testing result within two weeks.
There will also be a separate isolation room inside the book fair, Chau said. If visitors fall sick and develop Covid-19 symptoms, they will be taken care of by professional medical staff and sent to hospitals.
Chau said the book fair is now at the final stage of its preparatory work and the TDC will also review the pandemic situation a week before the fair to decide whether it will need to be postponed again.
He said the book fair is a "free and open" platform and there won't be any censorship.
But if there are complaints that books sold at the fair violate the national security law, officers from the Film, Newspaper and Article Administration will be called in and exhibitors will have to pull the books off shelves.
The chairwoman of the Hong Kong Publishing Professionals Society, Anita Wan Wai-ling, said publishers are not exercising self-censorship for political books.
"Publishers have their own choice for their exhibits They have the right to select what they want to show at the book fair."