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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

Health declaration system refined

The Government announced today the launch of an upgraded electronic health declaration system on a trial basis from July 28 to streamline the processing of arrival quarantine procedures.   Currently, inbound travellers should submit a health declaration through the Health & Quarantine Information Declaration to obtain a QR code for boarding a flight to Hong Kong.   While the number of inbound travellers taking time to complete the health declaration form upon arrival in Hong Kong has reduced significantly under the aforesaid arrival quarantine arrangement, there remains some people who do not complete the health declaration until after their arrival that hinders other inbound travellers with a valid health declaration during peak hours.   The upgraded health declaration system is therefore implemented. Starting from midnight on July 28, those boarding flights to Hong Kong are required to complete the Health & Quarantine Information Declaration in advance and present the health declaration QR code generated after completion of the declaration at check-in for verification by the airlines concerned.   The health declaration to be presented can be a downloadable version of the QR code, a screen shot or a printout. The health declaration QR code will be valid for 96 hours and inbound travellers can submit the declaration form as early as three days before their scheduled arrival time in Hong Kong.   On top of the health and quarantine declaration, information required for inbound quarantine such as proof of completion of vaccination and reservation reference numbers of designated quarantine hotels should also be provided under the upgraded declaration system.   Inbound travellers unable to produce the electronic health declaration QR code will still be allowed to board the flight during the trial run. Upon completion of the trial and enhancement of the systems, the travellers must obtain the electronic health declaration QR code before they can board a flight to Hong Kong.   The Government plans to upgrade the electronic health declaration system and the functions of the QR code in August upon successful trial of the upgrade, so that pre-boarding documentation verification process can be gradually digitalised and conducted via the system.   This includes the verification of proof of vaccination and designated quarantine hotels reservations. The verified information will be integrated into the electronic health declaration QR code to enable inbound travellers to use it for going through the procedures prior to boarding and upon arrival at the airport, such as inbound quarantine, test-and-hold and closed-loop transportation to quarantine hotels.   Completing the health declaration prior to boarding allows smoother arrival quarantine procedures for inbound travellers at the airport, the Government said.   It will also facilitate the gradual introduction of electronic processing of arrival quarantine procedures, thereby reducing the need for manual processing and hence the waiting time and bottlenecks, it added.   Click here for the boarding and compulsory quarantine requirements of inbound travel.
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