Non-essential public services will be disrupted as government expands home working

Non-essential public services will be affected as the government expands its work-from-home scheme on Friday, covering most staff except those providing emergency and life-saving services.

A government spokesperson said that given the worsening trend of the Covid-19 epidemic, the SAR must go one step further to significantly reduce crowds and social interactions within communities. This would prevent the number of cases from skyrocketing “like a tsunami”, he said.

Those providing necessary emergency and public services will continue to go to work, as will those assisting in pandemic operations. For other government employees, they should stay home as much as possible, the spokesperson said.

The arrangement will remain in effect until February 11. Adjustments to government services will be announced in due course.

The spokesperson also called on other employers to embrace working from home wherever possible.

Hongkong Post announced that the closing hours of the General Post Office and the Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office on February 5 (Saturday), will be brought forward to 1 p.m. while their opening hours remain unchanged.

The general post office will be closed on February 6 (Sunday). The opening hours of the other post offices remain unchanged.

The Department of Civil Engineering and Development has announced that in-person applications for dumping licenses and sand removal permits will be suspended, along with the Division of Mines Permits and Licensing Office.

The Office of Education said all regional education offices and the Joint Office for Kindergartens and Child Care Centers will only provide emergency services and essential public services as well as tasks related to the fight against the epidemic – starting tomorrow. The spokesperson reminded that members of the public who need these services should first contact the relevant service units by telephone.