Hong Kong developers are doing their bit to boost the city’s flagging coronavirus vaccination drive and support the ongoing economic recovery.
Following closely on the government’s incentives to offer civil servants up to two days of paid leave for taking Covid-19 jabs, private companies have come up with incentives to encourage employees, with one developer offering as many as four days of additional holiday. And to boost the vaccine uptake among the general population, some mall and hotel owners are offering discounted hotel stays, shopping vouchers and other discounts to residents who have received both doses.
Henderson Land Development said on Tuesday that its employees would be given four days of extra leave for taking the vaccine, while it is also “proactively thinking of diverse ways” to help with the vaccination drive.
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“If the staff get vaccines, they will have four days of paid holiday,” said Martin Lee Ka-shing, co-chairman on Tuesday. “Two days for each vaccine [dose].”
Private employers are adopting these policies after Chief Executive Carrie Lam urged the business sector to boost the slowing vaccine drive. About 18.4 per cent of the city’s 7.5 million population have received their first shot, while 13.4 per cent have got their second jab.
After Ng Teng Fong Charitable Foundation, Sino Group and Chinese Estates Holdings on Friday offered a one-bedroom flat at the Grand Central project in Kwun Tong as the grand prize for a lucky draw to support the government’s vaccination drive, bookings for jabs surged.
Great Eagle Group on Tuesday announced a series of promotions at hotels and shopping malls under the group between June 1 and August 31.
The group’s hotels – Langham, Cordis, and Eaton HK – are offering a total of 3,000 room nights at 50 per cent discount to Hong Kong residents who have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. The Langham Place shopping centre is offering gift vouchers to residents who have taken their shots.
“The group hopes various industries in Hong Kong can revive as soon as possible,” Great Eagle said in a statement. “It is hoped that citizens could fulfil their civic responsibility by getting vaccinated early to safeguard public health.”
New World Development (NWD) said that the group has been encouraging its employees to get the Covid-19 vaccination and is providing a number of measures to facilitate this, including two days’ paid leave. The group is also arranging outreach vaccination services for its employees, a spokesman said.
The NWD spokesman also said that the company has been providing free insurance coverage through the group’s subsidiary, FTLife Insurance, on vaccine side effects for its Hong Kong employees.
Last Tuesday, the Hong Kong government’s pandemic adviser Professor Yuen Kwok-yung declared an end to the fourth wave as there had been no local infections for 28 days. He suggested social measures could be relaxed for fully vaccinated residents while the movement of those who did not receive Covid-19 shots should be restricted.
Swire Properties said on Tuesday that it was offering HK$8 million (US$1.03 million) in incentives to help boost the take-up rate for the vaccination among staff and residents.
Fully vaccinated residents can enter a lucky draw to win 500 HK$10,000 shopping vouchers that can used at Swire Properties’ malls in Hong Kong, while eligible staff who receive two doses of the vaccine before the end of August will receive shopping coupons valued at HK$2,000 in addition to an extra day off.
Willy Liu, chief executive of Ricacorp Properties, said that the Covid-19 outbreak in the surrounding areas was becoming serious and Hong Kong citizens must not let their guard down.
“Only when the vaccination rate in Hong Kong reaches the level of herd immunity can Hong Kong people’s lives return to normal as soon as possible, and the future border reopening between China and Hong Kong can be unimpeded,” Liu said.
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