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2 imported COVID-19 cases detected

The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating two additional COVID-19 cases involving men who arrived from Tanzania and the US.   Meanwhile, the centre was notified yesterday of a confirmed case in the UK concerning a 46-year-old man who left Hong Kong for London on Cathay Pacific flight CX251 on July 15. His specimen collected on July 17 tested positive for COVID-19. He was asymptomatic. The centre is following up on the case with the British health authority and epidemiological investigations are underway.   As a prudent measure, Rosedale Hotel Hong Kong, Causeway Bay where the patient had stayed during the incubation period was put under a compulsory testing notice last night, requiring people who had been at the venue for more than two hours from July 4 to 28 to get tested on or before July 31.   A total of 25 cases were reported in Hong Kong in the past 14 days and all of them were imported.   For information and health advice on COVID-19, visit the Gover

Land enforcement results notable

The Lands Department today said its Special Duties Task Force, focusing on more serious cases of government land occupation since its establishment in mid-2019, has achieved notable results with regard to land enforcement.   The department said that the task force identified 100 black spots that involved unlawful occupation of sizeable government land for brownfield operations in mid-2019.   Up to last December, it completed clearance of 77 black spots. Among these spots, as some of them also involved breaches of lease conditions governing private land, the task force has taken lease enforcement actions in parallel.   As a result, a cumulative total of more than 20 hectares of unlawfully occupied government land have been tackled, and lease enforcement actions have been carried out against 50 private lots involving lease breaches in the clearance operations, with the demolition of more than 300 illegal or unauthorised structures.   The department is confident in completing operations against the remaining black spots within this year.   The task force also assists District Lands Offices in the New Territories in handling cases of relatively serious land irregularities and other backlog cases.   The cases include unlawful occupation of government land and breach of lease conditions governing private agricultural land such as construction of residential structures, including subdivided flats, workshops or godowns.   The task force has completed 20 serious cases so far, with over four hectares of government land cleared and lease enforcement actions taken against lease breaches involving nearly 50 private lots. More than 200 illegal or unauthorised structures have been demolished.   As for other backlog cases, the task force has completed a cumulative total of over 800 cases, with the clearance of almost seven hectares of government land and demolition of more than 200 structures unlawfully occupying government land.   Of these cases, six involving failure to cease occupation of government land before the specified deadlines resulted in prosecution. Five of them have already been heard, all with offenders convicted and fined. The remaining case is yet to be heard.   As for breach of lease conditions governing private agricultural land, the task force will take further lease enforcement actions against lots with unrectified breaches, including possible re-entry of the agricultural land under the Government Rights (Re-entry & Vesting Remedies) Ordinance.   The task force will process regularisation applications involving government land and private lots which meet the requisite requirements and conditions according to the existing mechanism.   For regularisation applications in respect of government land, the department will first charge an administrative fee and recover rents at market value calculated from the date of occupation of the land. Applicants are also required to pay a one-off punitive fee equivalent to 12 months' market rent.   As for regularisation applications involving private land, the department will charge an administrative fee and a deposit, and recover from the owner the waiver fee calculated from the date of the lease breaches.   Those who unlawfully occupy government land will be liable to a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for six months on the first occasion, and to a further daily fine of $50,000 for non-compliance with the statutory notice.

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