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Vaccinated Philippine workers can enter Hong Kong from Aug 30, says minister

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By Reuters

MANILA – Filipino workers who have been vaccinated in the Philippines will be allowed to enter Hong Kong from Aug. 30, Manila’s labour minister said on Sunday.

Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello said Hong Kong has agreed to let overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who received COVID-19 vaccines in their home country come and work provided they can present vaccine cards issued by the Philippines’ Bureau of Quarantine.

The agreement should benefit some 3,000 workers waiting to be deployed to Hong Kong, Bello said in a statement.

Hong Kong, which has some of most stringent coronavirus restrictions globally, previously barred those who received their shots in the Philippines from entry.

There are 210,000 OFWs, working mostly as domestic helpers in Hong Kong, Bello said. Remittances sent by millions of OFWs around the world are a key economic lifeline for the Philippines.

The Philippines is ramping up its vaccination campaign amid a surge in coronavirus infections driven by the virulent Delta variant. It has so far fully immunised 11.8% of its 110 million population against COVID-19.

COVID-19 infections in the Philippines stand at more than 1.83 million, ranking as Southeast Asia’s second highest. Deaths exceed 31,800, or just under 2% of total cases.