Coronavirus: Hong Kong secondary schools must have 90 per cent third-jab rate to resume full-day classes on campus

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  • Education Bureau tightened the existing two-jab requirement on Tuesday, encouraging students and staff to get vaccinated as far as possible
  • Kindergartens and primary schools will only be allowed half-day lessons, as Covid booster rates remain low
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Education authorities announced on Tuesday that secondary schools will only be allowed to conduct full-day classes on campus if 90 per cent of their students have been triple-vaccinated against Covid-19. Photo: Sam Tsang

Hong Kong secondary schools will only be allowed to conduct full-day classes on campus if 90 per cent of their students have been triple-vaccinated against Covid-19, with education authorities tightening the existing two-jab requirement.

The same threshold also applies to secondary and primary school students from October if they hope to take part in extracurricular and mask-off activities such as music and sports, according to a letter from the Education Bureau to the sector on Tuesday.

“We encourage staff and students to get vaccinated as far as possible to protect themselves and others, if they are suitable for vaccination,” it wrote. “[We] also demand that schools actively reach out to those who have yet to get vaccinated to understand their concerns and difficulties, and encourage them to get the jabs.”

6 in 10 Hong Kong secondary pupils fear meeting without masks

The tightening of the vaccine requirements, announced two days ahead of the commencement of the school year on Thursday, aimed to “further strengthen the protective shield for schools”, according to the circular sent to kindergartens, as well as primary and secondary schools.

The stepped-up measures came five months after the bureau required secondary schools to ensure 90 per cent of students were double-vaccinated to resume in-person, full-day sessions.

Schools that do not meet the vaccination requirement will only be allowed to hold half-day lessons. Photo: KY Cheng

From November, secondary schools that do not meet the threshold are only allowed to resume half-day classes.

It added that full-day, in-person classes at kindergartens and primary schools will remain suspended as the vaccination rate among children aged three to 11 remained low.

Should students be allowed to participate in mask-off activities?

As of Monday, only 10.97 per cent of children aged between three and 11 in Hong Kong had received a third vaccine dose, while the rate for those aged 12 to 19 stood at 52.88 per cent.

Officials also announced a reward scheme for schools with high vaccination rates.

The city logged 8,488 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, including 236 imported infections.

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