Dear Members and friends of SwedCham,
At SwedCham, we see it as one of our main roles to facilitate the sharing of essential information about the Novel Coronavirus outbreak and how it affects the Swedish business community in Hong Kong. At the time of writing, the most recent update from Hong Kong’s Department of Health (dated January 29, 2020) refers to ten confirmed cases, all of which relate to individuals who have recently arrived from Mainland China. While Hong Kong so far has been relatively spared in terms of number of infections, the impact of the disease can still be felt in different ways, with schools closed until March 2 and with many work places instructing staff to work from home as far as possible (see further below). Society is also under stress from a widely reported shortage of face masks.
Despite the serious situation, SwedCham aims to maintain as much of a “business as usual” approach as possible. We will monitor events and update our assessment if and as necessary. We plan to continue our Experience Sharing Lunches (initiated last fall amidst ongoing protests), now with a focus on the Novel Coronavirus outbreak. The next lunch will take place Friday 7 February, 12.30 pm – 2 pm. Venue: Business Sweden’s Conference Room. To register, please visit our website or click on the event further down this newsletter.
The SwedCham office is here to serve all members. Please do not hesitate to contact us! FYI, we have listed some useful links below.
- Hong Kong Department of Health
- World Health Organisation
- For information in Swedish, please check the website of the Consulate General of Sweden in Hong Kong as well as Frågor och svar om nytt coronavirus 2019-nCoV (Folkhälsomyndigheten)
- The same Q&A at the Public Health Agency of Sweden can be found in English
On January 28th the HKSAR government announced that civil servants will not be required to return to their offices but will instead be expected to work from home, and appealed to employers in the private sector to introduce flexible work arrangements. The full press release can be found here.
Based on feedback from members, we have identified the following common strategies that we hereby share on an informational basis. We recognize that individual companies will need to make their own decisions, each based on their unique situation.
- So far as possible, work from home until February 3rd, then reassess situation
- All staff returning from Mainland China to work from home for 14 days from their date of return to Hong Kong
- No business travel to Mainland China unless absolutely necessary
- When coming to the office, wear mask on commute and wash hands directly after entering the office
We hope you will find this information helpful.