The Government will launch the Universal Community Testing Programme on September 1 to provide a one-off free testing service for members of the public.
The programme aims to identify as early as possible asymptomatic COVID-19 patients in the community and achieve the target of early identification, isolation and treatment to cut the community transmission chain.
The programme is scheduled to run for seven days. Subject to the actual progress, it may be extended for no more than seven days.
Except for children under six and people not suitable for the test, all holders of valid Hong Kong identity cards or birth certificates who are asymptomatic can take part in the programme on a voluntary basis.
The Government will set up community testing centres in all districts across the city. Appropriate infection control and social distancing measures will be put in place at the centres according to the Department of Health’s recommendations.
Members of the public can make an appointment online by providing their details and choosing the testing location and time slot. Booking arrangements and other details will be announced in due course.
Specimens will be collected by trained medical or healthcare staff. They will collect the combined nasal and throat swabs of participants for laboratory testing.
People whose test results are negative will be informed by SMS. If a test result is positive, the Department of Health will take follow-up action immediately.
The Government reiterated the programme will only do testing for COVID-19 and that all testing will be conducted in Hong Kong. Specimens will not be transported outside the city and they will be destroyed after testing.
No personal particulars will be indicated on the programme’s sampling bottles. The testing agencies will know only the serial numbers but not the specimen owners’ identities.
The Government appealed to citizens to fight the virus together and join the programme to win the battle against the virus as soon as possible.