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Balanced approach to curbing virus

(To watch the full media session with sign language interpretation, click here.)   Chief Executive John Lee today said he has asked the Secretary for Health to review the current anti-epidemic measures, aiming to strike a balance between containing the virus spread and reducing the inconvenience to travellers.   Meeting the media this morning before chairing the first meeting of the new-term Executive Council, Mr Lee said the Secretary for Health is considering how the duration of quarantine should be handled.   “I am giving him time to look at the statistics so that he will formulate some options for me to consider.”   At the same time, the Government will strive to keep the COVID-19 pandemic under control and protect those who are more vulnerable to the virus, he noted.   “One of the important measures is to make good use of the polymerase chain reaction-based nucleic acid test so that we can be certain that we will be able to identify those who are infected early, separate

Rent concession period extended

The Housing Authority's Commercial Properties Committee today approved an extension of the 75% rent concession for eligible non-domestic tenants or licensees for another six months from October 1.   The move ties in with the Government's latest relief measures to sustain the support for businesses and individual sectors as announced by Financial Secretary on August 25.   During this rent concession period, the eligible non-domestic tenants or licensees may continue to apply for concession in full for the days during which their operations at the premises concerned have to be closed under the Government’s anti-epidemic regulations and directions.   To ensure prudent use of resources, the committee decided that supermarkets and superstores would be subject to tenants' application and proof of sales drop in this round of rent concession.   If the tenants of supermarkets or superstores suffer a sales drop during the extended rent concession period compared to that of the same period in the preceding year, concession at the same percentage will be provided to them upon application and production of sales drop proof, capped at 75%.   Eligible tenants or licensees of about 2,500 retail and some 3,300 factory premises, about 70 advertising signboards, around 40 tenancies of bus kiosks and about 4,200 carpark users will benefit from this round of rent concession.   The rent the Housing Authority has foregone for this round of extension is estimated to be around $660 million, while the total rent foregone by it from October 2019 to March 2022 is around $ 2.946 billion.
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