Editorial : Mandatory Code Scanning at Eateries is Non-negotiable


【明報專訊】AFTER requiring all people to use the LeaveHomeSafe (LHS) app when entering government premises, the authorities have further announced that starting from 9 December, it will be mandatory to scan LHS QR codes on scheduled premises such as restaurants, bars and gyms. The alternative of "filling out paper forms" will no longer be accepted except for the elderly, children and people with special needs. To reopen its border with the mainland, Hong Kong has to enhance its virus tracing capabilities. Having more premises with mandatory code scanning is seen as an important supporting measure to that end. But even if border reopening is taken out of the equation, the practice of "filling out paper forms" is full of loopholes itself and should have long been discontinued. For catering businesses, the compulsory use of the LHS app can save them from legal entanglements stemming from a customer's provision of false information. For many customers, scanning QR codes to dine in restaurants is something they have gotten used to after nearly a year and will not be too difficult in actual practice. Of course, for a small number of people with special needs such as the visually impaired, it is difficult for them to scan the codes or fill out forms. The authorities should try their best to provide assistance and allow businesses to exercise discretion in special situations.