🌊 No children, no schools
Your lobster balls are lying to you all
I don’t know how I wasn’t scarred watching ET as a kid because that gentle alien is one ugly bastard.
On Today’s Tide
Education | Schools fear closures as HK birthrate hits 24 year low.
COVID-19 | Tourism industry gets another funding boost from Anti-epidemic fund.
300,000 free rapid tests
Care homes covered under the vaccine bubble
Quarantine restrictions imposed under Care2hk and Return2hk
Events | TODAY catch the latest on COVID-19 in HK and beyond.
Paid readers get access to:
Transport | Cathay taking over the routes Dragon left behind and former flight attendants arrested for breaching quarantine restrictions.
Crime | Sentences handed out for 2019 protest cases.
Gang brawl leads to arrests in quiet Sai Kung.
Bonus | Your favourite foods are lying to you, sweetie!
Have kids or schools will go out of business
The city’s birthrate is on a steady decline to the lowest its been in 24 years (since 1997), with the number of births from January to November in 2021 falling 12% year-on-year.
Children born in 2020 (January to November): 40,360
Children born in 2021 (January to November): 35,464
The Education Bureau fears that this trend will lead to a downward dip in the overall student population over the next three years and are calling for the government to provide further subsidies to kindergartens. As of reporting, kindergartens get a current subsidy of $36,080 per student. Schools are worried that this trend means they’ll face a number of shutdowns if there are no children to enrol in all the money pi – I mean – educational institutions the city has to offer.
Tourism industry gets millions from COVID funds
The Anti-epidemic Fund is allocating $570 million to Hong Kong’s tourism industry, making this the sixth time the ailing industry has gotten financial support from the government scheme. Those who were granted subsidies from the last round do not have to reapply to be considered for the subsidies.
$270 million will go to travel agents, tour service coaches and tour guides while $300 million will go into the Green Lifestyle Local Tour Incentive Scheme, which encourages tourism within the SAR.
Other COVID-19 news:
New cases: 7 (3 imported, 3 linked to imported cases, 1 locally infected)
Health officials claim that a woman who arrived from Pakistan last month and tested positive after her release from hotel quarantine has passed the virus to nine other people.
The quarantine exemption for those travelling from the Zhuhai Port to Hong Kong through the HK-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge will no longer be offered under the Return2hk and Come2hk Scheme. Since the government has listed the Xiangzhou District in Guangdong Province as an at-risk place, the new compulsory quarantine order takes effect today.
Care homes will be covered under the vaccine bubble to protect the elderly and people with disabilities who reside in these facilities.
The government will distribute 300,000 rapid test kits for free to the public over the next few weeks, prioritising those in need.
Compulsory testing notices have been announced for people who were at seven specified premises in certain periods (see the Annex for where and when).
Two residential blocks in Cheung Sha Wan and Tai Po were put under lockdown for mandatory testing after preliminary positives were found in each building.
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TODAY | Coronavirus updates: Episode 32: Conversation With Dr. David Ho
This coming Tuesday (18 Jan) Asia Society invites Dr. David Ho, a renowned public health expert who has extensive experiences and knowledge on AIDS research, to speak on his latest research into developing novel strategies to diagnose, treat and prevent Covid-19 infection.
When: 18 Jan 8-9pm
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