HSBC Asks All HK Employees To Take Jab
HONG KONG – London-based bank HSBC Holdings has requested all of its staff in the Chinese territory to get inoculated against COVID-19 after Hong Kong’s local government issued a new circular targeting higher vaccinations rates, reported Bloomberg on Saturday (6 November, SGT).
According to a memo that was confirmed by a representative from HSBC, staff who have not taken the first vaccine dose should either get vaccinated by the end of this month, or be required to undergo tests every 2 weeks.
HSBC Holdings, which counts Hong Kong as its biggest market, stated that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and 4 other regulatory agencies issued circulars to financial firms last week “strongly encouraging all employees to get vaccinated or undergo virus testing every two weeks”.
Previously, the regulatory bodies published a circular in June urging all bank employees in support functions or customer facing roles to get inoculated against COVID-19.
Hong Kong has encountered difficulties in persuading workers and residents to get vaccinated that it lags rival financial hubs like London and New York. Notably, only 60 percent of the Chinese territory’s population are fully inoculated, while rival financial hub in Asia, Singapore, has achieved a higher rate of approximately 84 percent.
Nonetheless, Hong Kong’s zero COVID strategy has been relatively successful in keeping cases under control, and most businesses have been back to nearly full capacity in the past few months, with HSBC fully reopening its offices in June 2021.
HSBC’s memo was earlier reported by the Hong Kong Economic Times. In addition, the Chinese territory plans to open its border to mainland China to encourage the return of Chinese tourists and to promote cross-border business, while it has maintained harsh quarantine measures for people coming in from outside China.