Hong Kong – Further extension of application period of Anti-epidemic Support Scheme for Environmental Hygiene and Security Staff in Property Management Sector

Further extension of application period of Anti-epidemic Support Scheme for Environmental Hygiene and Security Staff in Property Management Sector

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     The Home Affairs Department (HAD) announced today (May 26) that the Government will extend the application period of the Anti-epidemic Support Scheme for Environmental Hygiene and Security Staff in the Property Management Sector (ASPM) to June 30.



     The HAD launched the ASPM with the aim to provide each frontline property management (PM) worker performing duties relating to environmental hygiene or security in private residential, composite (i.e. commercial cum residential), industrial and commercial (including shopping malls) building blocks (hereinafter referred to as “eligible building blocks”) a monthly allowance of $2,000 for five months (February to June 2022)



      The HAD spokesman expressed that, since the launch of the ASPM on February 28, HAD had been keeping in view the needs of the PM sector, and announced enhancement measures on April 29. HAD also jointly organised recently a briefing session via video conferencing with the Property Management Services Authority (PMSA) for the PM sector, to remind the trade the details of the enhancement measures and application method of the ASPM. Given the large number of premises within eligible building blocks, HAD understood that PM companies, Deed of Mutual Covenant Managers or Owners’ Corporations/Organisations would require time to collect and collate frontline PM worker applications submitted by premises, and therefore decided to further extend the application due date to June 30, so that the PM sector can have more time to submit applications, benefiting more frontline PM workers.



      As at May 26, the PMSA has received more than 17 000 applications, which will benefit over 180 000 frontline PM workers, and over 2 700 applications have been approved, involving nearly $600 million, benefiting over 6 200 buildings. 



     The HAD thanked the PM sector for actively responding and supporting the enhancement measures under the ASPM, and appealed strongly again to eligible applicant organisations and premises to uphold corporate social responsibility and civic responsibility, following an inclusive and fair principle, and submit applications for all frontline PM workers serving eligible building blocks (including premises therein) to the PMSA promptly, so that they can receive subsidies as soon as possible.



     For details on the ASPM, please contact the PMSA at 3696 1156 or 3696 1166, or visit the ASPM thematic website (aspm.pmsa.org.hk).

Hong Kong – Extension of BioNTech vaccination service at Sham Shui Po District Health Centre

Extension of BioNTech vaccination service at Sham Shui Po District Health Centre

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     The Food and Health Bureau announced today (April 13) that, in view of the prevailing epidemic situation and the public demand for COVID-19 vaccination, the Sham Shui Po District Health Centre (DHC) will extend its BioNTech vaccination service up till May 22 to enable the public to get vaccinated as early as possible for protecting themselves and those around them, as well as to meet the adjusted vaccination requirements of the Vaccine Pass.

 

     The Sham Shui Po DHC is located at 201A, 2/F, Mei Hei House, Shek Kip Mei Estate, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon. The DHC operates from 9am to 6pm daily. Eligible persons aged 12 or above can make an appointment for receiving the BioNTech vaccine via the designated website of the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme (www.covidvaccine.gov.hk). There is no same-day ticket arrangement at the DHC.

 

     Vaccination is the most effective measure to stop the spread of the virus and prevent severe cases, hospitalisation and death. Members of the public are encouraged to receive COVID-19 vaccines.

Extension of Validity of Registration Certificates issued under The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, (FCRA) 2010 Expiring/Expired during period between 29.09.2020 and 30.09.2021

            The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has extended the validity of registration certificates issued under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 which have expired or are expiring during the period between 29.09.2020 and 30.09.2021. The validity for the above mentioned registration certificates has now been extended up to 30.09.2021

            The MHA has said in a Public Notice which is available on www.fcraonline.nic.in, that this has been decided keeping in view exigencies arising out of the COVID-19 situation and to ensure smooth transition to the amended FCRA regime by the FCRA NGOs.

NW/RK/PK/AY/DDD

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Hong Kong – Extension of temporary measure to withhold issuance of Notice-to-Quit to public housing tenants

Extension of temporary measure to withhold issuance of Notice-to-Quit to public housing tenants

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The following is issued on behalf of the Hong Kong Housing Authority:
 
     The Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) today (April 23) announced that public housing tenants in short-term financial difficulties with rent in arrears may submit applications to the HA between April and September. The HA will temporarily withhold issuing a Notice-to-Quit (NTQ) to the tenants concerned during the period if their applications are approved.

     In a bid to help those tenants having financial problems to get through hardship during the pandemic, the HA had already temporarily withheld the issuance of an NTQ to tenants between May and October 2020 upon approval of their applications. Taking into account the persistent economic downturn, the HA extended the measure in November last year up to March this year.
 
     In addition, the HA has all along been providing assistance to tenants who are facing temporary financial difficulties through the Rent Assistance Scheme (RAS). Under the scheme, eligible applicants will be granted either a 50 per cent or 25 per cent rent reduction for a period of two years. When there is an increase in their household income or a change in the number of family members, RAS beneficiaries should take the initiative to inform the HA for a review of their eligibility. The HA will also conduct random checking to guard against possible abuse.
 
     Tenants may contact the respective estate offices or interim housing offices for details of the arrangements.
 

Hong Kong – Extension of Pre-approved Principal Payment Holiday Scheme for another six months

 

 The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) together with the Banking Sector SME Lending Coordination Mechanism (Mechanism) today (March 4) announced that the Pre-approved Principal Payment Holiday Scheme (Scheme) will be extended for another six months to October 2021.
      
     Given the persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic around the globe and the severity of the ensuing impact on the global and local economy, some small and medium-sized enterprises continue to face cash-flow pressure. The Mechanism agreed that all principal payments of loans falling due between May and October 2021 by eligible corporate customers will be deferred by another six months except for repayments of trade loans, which will be deferred by 90 days.
      
     As the Scheme has been rolled out for nearly one year, in order to strike a balance between catering for the unique circumstances facing individual customers and the need for prudent risk management, the Mechanism has agreed that, for loans which have been extended for 540 days or more cumulatively since first being drawn down (or trade loans which have been extended for 270 days or more cumulatively since first being drawn down), banks can adopt a flexible approach and consider, on a case-by-case basis and subject to prudent risk management principles, whether other forms of relief are more suitable to help the customers ride out the current difficulties.
      
     Similar to the Scheme extension in November 2020, banks will not issue individual notifications to eligible customers regarding the deferment arrangement. Interested corporate customers may contact their banks. Deferment requests will be handled on a “pre-approved” basis. Banks may request customers to provide up-to-date operational and financial information to better understand their needs when processing their requests.
      
     The Scheme covers all corporate customers that have an annual sales turnover below HK$800 million and that have no seriously overdue loan payments. For enquiries about the Scheme, please contact the HKMA via the dedicated email account ([email protected]) or enquiry hotline (2878 1199).
      
Background
      
     The Banking Sector SME Lending Coordination Mechanism was established by the HKMA in October 2019. Participants include 11 banks that are most active in SME lending. The Hong Kong Association of Banks and the HKMC Insurance Limited are also represented in the Mechanism. Since its establishment, the Mechanism has rolled out several rounds of relief measures for corporate customers, including the Scheme, loan tenor extensions, and the conversion of trade financing lines into overdraft facilities. At the end of January 2021, banks had granted over 59,000 cases of loan tenor extension and other forms of relief, involving an aggregate amount of HK$750 billion.
      
     The Scheme, which took effect in May last year, was extended by six months in November 2020 to April 2021. Around 100 banks participate in the Scheme, which covers around 120 000 eligible corporate customers. From May to October 2020, 19 000 eligible corporate customers participated in the Scheme, representing a participation rate of 16 per cent. Following the Scheme’s extension in November 2020, the number of participating corporate customers dropped to 5 100, representing a participation rate of 4 per cent. All corporate loans including mortgages, vehicle loans and trade facilities are covered by the Scheme. The HKMA has also reminded banks to be sympathetic to customers who are not eligible for the Scheme and to help tide them over this difficult time as long as it is consistent with prudent risk management principles to do so.