South China Morning Post
25th November 2022
Coronavirus. Hong Kong’s visually impaired latest to criticise new government app mandate for public buildings
Advocates for visually impaired people say it is difficult for them to locate and scan the ‘Leave Home Safe’ app’s QR codes
The alternative of filling out a paper form, meanwhile, is of little use to those with poor eyesight, they say
By Fiona Sun
and Nadia Lam
Visually impaired Hongkongers have become the latest group to criticise the government’s decision to make the use of its coronavirus exposure-notification app mandatory in public buildings, saying they struggle to use it without assistance.
Since Monday, residents have had to use the “Leave Home Safe” app to register their visits to all government venues, including libraries, swimming pools, offices and wet markets, as part of a recent ramping up of pandemic control measures aimed at convincing Beijing to reopen the border with the city.
Those younger than 12 or older than 65 are exempt, as are those with disabilities who cannot use the app. However, those people still have to fill out a paper form listing their name, contact information, part of their Hong Kong identity card number, and the date and time of their visit.
But Tony Shing Li-lim, executive director of the Hong Kong Federation of the Blind, said it was “quite ridiculous” for visually impaired people to be exempted from using the app, only to then be required to fill in a form.