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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

Quarantine arrangements clarified

Comments describing the latest compulsory quarantine arrangements for overseas arrivals at Hong Kong as a relaxation were made out of misunderstanding, the Government said today.   In its response, the Government explained that it has all along been adopting stringent border control measures with a science-based approach, including multiple tests prior to boarding flights, on arrival, during and after the quarantine periods. Such measures are adjusted when appropriate.   On August 2, it announced the strengthening of border control measures to build an anti-epidemic barrier.   Under the latest arrangements that took effect from August 9, the Group A or high-risk specified places were reorganised from the original Group A1 and Group A2 specified places.   None of these places was adjusted downward as a Group B specified place, thus no extremely high-risk or very high-risk places were made medium-risk places, the Government stressed.   Only fully vaccinated Hong Kong residents with a recognised vaccination record and their accompanied children aged below 12 are allowed to board flights for Hong Kong from high-risk places under the latest arrangements.   Upon arrival, they are subject to the test and hold arrangement at the airport. Then they can proceed to a designated quarantine hotel to undergo compulsory quarantine for 21 days only if their test results are negative, during which they must undergo four tests.   They are also required to undergo compulsory testing in a community testing centre on the 26th day of arrival in Hong Kong.   As for Group B or medium-risk specified places under the latest arrangements, they comprise the original Group B and Group C specified places, where compulsory quarantine and testing requirements remain unchanged. There is no relaxation on quarantine arrangements for people arriving from these places.   The Government added that the latest arrangements further strengthened relevant boarding and testing requirements.   Now all people arriving from overseas places must comply with the requirement of undergoing a COVID-19 nucleic acid test within 72 hours prior to boarding a flight to Hong Kong. Vaccinated people are also required to undergo additional compulsory tests after the quarantine period.   The Government said it will continue to closely monitor the epidemic situation of different places and consider a basket of factors under the risk-based principle to adjust the boarding, quarantine and testing requirements for people arriving in the city from relevant places based on risk levels as the situation warrants.
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