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SMS sender scheme expanded

The Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) announced today that the SMS Sender Registration Scheme is now open for application by all sectors to further help the public verify the identities of SMS senders, with a view to combatting SMS fraud.   Apart from further opening up the scheme, the OFCA said it welcomes public and private organisations from various industries with a practical need to communicate with customers or clients via SMS to join the scheme.   Under the scheme, only registered senders are able to send SMS messages using their registered SMS sender IDs with the prefix “#”. All other SMS messages with sender IDs containing “#” but not sent by registered senders will be blocked by the telecommunications networks.   As such, the public can easily identify whether an SMS message is received from a registered sender by the prefix “#” in the SMS sender ID.   The OFCA reminds citizens to stay highly vigilant when receiving SMS messages from unknown sender

Travel scheme to be extended

(To watch the full press conference with sign language interpretation, click here.)   The Government today announced the Return2hk Scheme will be extended from Guangdong Province and Macau to other Mainland provinces and municipalities.   Starting from April 29, Hong Kong residents not having stayed in places other than Hong Kong, the Mainland or Macau, or any places in the Mainland designated as medium and high-risk in the past 14 days before arriving in Hong Kong can be exempted from the 14-day compulsory quarantine requirement.   The online booking system for the scheme will be open for applications by Hong Kong residents who plan to return from the Mainland through the Hong Kong International Airport from April 27.   To ensure Hong Kong residents return to the city under the scheme in a gradual and orderly manner to avoid increased public health risks at overcrowded airport and ports, a quota arrangement will still be in place under the extended scheme.   A daily quota of 1,000 has been set for the airport, while those for the land boundary control points of the Shenzhen Bay Port and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) Hong Kong Port will remain unchanged.   They are 3,000 per day for the Shenzhen Bay Port and 2,000 each day for the HZMB Hong Kong Port.    Additionally, the Come2hk Scheme, to be launched in mid-May, will facilitate non-Hong Kong residents staying in Guangdong and Macau to come to Hong Kong without being subject to compulsory quarantine requirements upon fulfilment of specified conditions.   Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip announced the details of the Return2hk Scheme’s extension at a press conference this morning.   Mr Nip also said the Government is discussing the possibility of exempting Hong Kong citizens entering the Mainland from quarantine requirements with Mainland authorities.   He said: "I’m sure that everyone in Hong Kong would like to see the early opening of travel between the Mainland and Hong Kong.   “In the eyes of the Mainland authorities, I’m sure that they would look at Hong Kong, whether Hong Kong is, in their classification, still a high-risk area or medium-risk area. As long as we are still considered a medium or high-risk area, I’m sure that we would be far from achieving that.   “So these are the areas we have to work very hard on: to put our epidemic situation under control, reduce our number of confirmed cases to zero or near zero, get rid of all unlinked cases, and also achieve a high level of vaccination rate. I think these are the things, the priority areas, that we must work hard on.”
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