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In view of the exponential rise in the number of infected cases, the Government has further tightened its anti-pandemic measures by adopting a “Vaccine Pass” Scheme (to be implemented in three stages) on February 21. In line with the related new measures, Bishop Stephen Chow, S.J., has issued the following pastoral guidelines:

  1. 1. From February 24 to April 20, parish churches are to remain temporarily closed. (Note 1)

  1. 2. Under Stage One (February 24 – April 29) of the “Vaccine Pass” scheme, all persons aged twelve or above wishing to enter or remain in religious premises (Note 2) must have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Those exempted from this requirement include children aged under 12, holders of the COVID-19 Vaccination Medical Exemption Certificate (Exemption Certificate), and those entering religious premises for the only purpose of delivering or picking up of an article.

During the period specified above, those who wish to enter religious premises must use the “LeaveHomeSafe” mobile application and present the QR code of their vaccination record or Exemption Certificate.

Religious premises should install the “QR Code Verification Scanner” for verification of whether those entering the premises meet the above requirements, and the scanned records should be kept for 31 days. (For the operation of the “QR Code verification scanner”, please watch the demonstration video at the website of Information Service Department of the Government: https://www.leavehomesafe.gov.hk/_files/videos/Vaccine_Pass-For_Venue_Operators(Eng).mp4).

For persons whose vaccination record or Exemption Certificate is not presented in the required form or does not contain a QR code and persons under the age of 12 and not accompanied by an adult, those in charge of religious premises are required to collect the declaration / personal information of the aforementioned persons using specified forms (http://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/pdf/vp_dicf.pdf) and keep the records for 31 days.


Bishop Stephen Chow, S.J., is appealing to the clergy and the faithful to strictly abide by the above anti-pandemic measures of the Government for the common good.

Bishop Stephen Chow, S.J., advises the faithful against a gloomy and pessimistic outlook in the face of a prolonged stressful time, in which the forces of darkness can easily prevail. Since public Masses remain suspended temporarily, the Bishop encourages our brothers and sisters to try, insofar that is possible, to take part in online Masses (and receive spiritual Communion), or to meditate on the scripture readings, or to pray in whatever ways fitting for them, in order to fulfil their Sunday obligation. They are also encouraged to pay more attention to prayers and various forms of devotion, as well as caring for their neighbours with charity, so as to become the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

For their spiritual needs, such as confession or anointing of the sick, the faithful are free to approach their own parish priests, who are to look after them with pastoral solicitude.

Given at the Chancery Office,

24 February 2022.

Rev. Lawrence LEE


Note 1: Churches, however, are allowed to hold

(i) wedding ceremonies [the number of participants not exceeding the statutory required attendance for marriage, i.e. (i) the officiating minister, (ii) the wedding parties, and (iii) 2 witnesses, under Marriage Ordinance (Chapter 181) and with no food or drink served (except receiving Holy Communion)];

(ii) Funerals (with no restriction on the number of participants).

Note 2: Until a clarification has been made by the Government, the Diocese understands “religious premises” to refer to “churches” only, not including such premises as parish offices, conference rooms, etc.