🌊 Taxis become COVID-19 chaperones
Same-sex couples uneligible for public housing
I hate to start Tide on a sombre note, but Hong Kong Free Press released a number of photos taken from the makeshift medical care units where many COVID-19 patients have been admitted for treatment. The photos of medical staff feeding the elderly and ill patients are particularly heartbreaking. Many of my family members are over the age of 60 and I’m so thankful that they are all in good health. I hope that you and your loved ones are also safe and well.
On Today’s Tide
LGBTQ+ | No subsidised housing for same-sex couples.
COVID-19 | Thousands of new COVID cases, COVID taxis, $433 million for the tourism industry, and more.
Events | Have your belated Valentine’s date(s) at these spots.
Behind the paywall:
COVID-19 cont. | Styrofoam piles litter the city, CityU to open pet testing scheme, and more.
Government | Businessman announces plans to run for Chief Executive. Checkley Sin claims Carrie Lam breached mask laws.
Appointment | HK has a new national security police chief.
Same-sex couples refused access to public housing
The government claims that were it to permit public housing access to same-sex couples, it would make it harder for heterosexual couples to get subsidised housing with the city’s already scarce housing resources. A government body representative also argued that the HA’s policies aim to help the elderly access public housing along with “traditional” family households.
As it stands, Housing Authority policy deems that same-sex couples who have gotten married overseas are not eligible for public housing; considering the latest court rulings, this will not change any time soon.
300 taxis to transport COVID-19 patients
New cases: 4,285 (21 local infections)
It’s getting redundant to say that the number of COVID-19 cases has broken a new record in the city, but the reported 4,285 cases recorded yesterday is about triple yesterday’s number and a new all-time high for HK. About 7,000 preliminary positive cases were recorded as well. This is not officially confirmed yet, but HK01 reports that HK will unleash a national testing plan that will aim to get absolutely everybody – all 7.5 million people in the city – tested for the virus.
300 taxis have been assigned to drive COVID-19 patients who have mild symptoms from their homes to their designated clinics to receive medical attention. This special cab service will start on Friday (18 February).
The General Post Office in Central will be closed today due to a postman who tested positive for COVID-19.
HK$433.5 million has been allocated for the tourism industry in the government’s latest support package in the Anti-Epidemic Fund.
Travel agencies will get one-off subsidies of $50,000 and employees get $7,500 each.
Tour guides and escorts working freelance are also entitled to receive $7,500 each. Coach drivers can get $5,000.
Hotels with up to 100 rooms will get $300,000 and $400,000 will go to those that are larger (not for quarantine hotels).
Mandatory lockdown for a residential block in Sheung Shui has been extended by a day after over 30 cases were found during an overnight testing operation on Tuesday.
Two buildings in Ma On Shan and Tung Chung have been put into overnight lockdown.
Compulsory testing notices have been issued for 28 specified places (see Annex for details).
Events / Exhibitions etc
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Missed valentines but still want a good date location?
Check out our recommendations:
All the businesses featured are friends of HT - so let them know we sent you.
We don’t get any monetary benefits from this by the way, but with the whole F&B scene being in shell shock from new restrictions, supporting local businesses has never been more important.
Sit in twos! Get takeout! Go have a picnic!
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