Gov’t to review proposed vaccination rules for FDWs

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Foreign domestic workers in Central. (FILE PHOTO)

Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Tuesday said Hong Kong will reassess its plan requiring all foreign domestic workers (FDWs) to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

Lam said in a briefing before the Executive Council meeting that Labour and Welfare Secretary Dr. Law Chi-kwong will be asked to review the proposal amid criticisms that it unfairly targets FDWs.

“Having heard the views from the community, I’m asking the Secretary for Labour and Welfare to re-examine the issue. We need to first establish a justification and we also need to communicate with the Consulate General offices of these countries where the foreign domestic helpers come from to weigh the pros and cons,” Lam said.

But Lam defended compulsory testing for FDWs, citing that two of the local coronavirus cases with mutant strains involved helpers.

“We required foreign domestic workers to undergo compulsory testing on the basis of risk. There is no discrimination against their race,” she said.

Hong Kong ordered all FDWs to get tested before May 9. As of May 1, over 110,000 people have undergone testing, with some 52,000 being domestic workers.

With several thousands of these workers vaccinated against Covid-19, Lam said she is confident all 370,000 FDWs will comply with the May 9 deadline.

The Consulates of the Philippines and Indonesia—Hong Kong’s major suppliers of FDWs—earlier appealed for fairer anti-epidemic measures, saying that the mandatory vaccination policy should apply to all non-resident workers in the city.