A Covid-19 test centre opens above the Lamma ferry pier in Central this morning (11 August) as the government expands its free virus-testing service for taxi and minibus drivers to include MTR, ferry and tram workers.
At Central Pier 4 this morning, hundreds of transport workers had already taken advantage of the free swab self-sampling kit distribution centre, according to contractors on site. At 9am, two and a half hours after it opened, the queue on the upper deck was around 50-strong, and about five deep, with no social distancing measures in place for the queue.
Workers will swab their own samples and drop off the specimen bottles at the same location.
The Lamma pier test centre in Central will be open from today until 14 August, open from 6.30-10 am and 2pm to 4pm on 11 and 12 August, and from 6.30am to 10am on 13 and 14 August.
Employees of ferry operators, as well as taxi or minibus drivers who missed the last two phases of free testing, can visit the centres for self-sampling kits – the sample is also collected on-site.
The centre is one of four opening this week, dedicated for taxi, bus and ferry workers. Another test centre will open at the Star Ferry pier in Tsim Sha Tsui on 12 and 13 August from 10am to 4pm; and two centres aimed at public transport workers opened today at Yuen Long Station (North) Public Transport Interchange and Tai Po Market Station GMB Terminus: these will run today and tomorrow (11 and 12 August) from 10am to 2pm and from 3pm to 6pm.
MTR and Hong Kong Tramways employees have a different arrangement: the government is distributing free self-sample kits to all employees of the two firms, which will arrange in-house specimen collection.
The government stressed the tests were voluntary and free of charge, and no personal data will be retained by the test contractor.
In case of a positive result, the test contractor will notify Transport Department of the specimen serial number; if that number matches the serial number of a ferry, taxi or minibus worker, TD will relay the worker’s registered details directly to the Centre for Health Protection (CHP). If the serial number belongs to an MTR or HKT employee, TD will ask the company concerned to relay the employee’s information directly to CHP.