17th January 2022 – (Hong Kong) A spokesman for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) said today that to align with the Government’s tightening of social distancing measures, the LCSD had closed its leisure and cultural venues/facilities from 7th January, and the recreation and sports programmes to be organised or subvented by the LCSD were also cancelled. To relieve the impact of the epidemic, the LCSD will arrange ex-gratia payments to those personnel engaged in these recreation and sports programmes, including coaches and instructors under the fifth round of the Anti-epidemic Fund.
The ex-gratia payment is being offered to those directly engaged by the LCSD, or sports coaches and staff hired by National Sports Associations (NSAs) or sports organisations (SOs) subvented under the Sports Subvention Scheme, or sports coaches who were engaged by NSAs or SOs through the LCSD Direct Purchase Authority Management System to provide services. The ex-gratia payment is equivalent to the amount of their original full remuneration for the cancelled programmes scheduled to commence or to be held from 7th January to 3rd February, 2022.
Coaches and personnel benefiting from this subsidy scheme are not required to submit applications. The LCSD will release the ex-gratia payment to the personnel directly or through the relevant NSAs and SOs. Disbursement of the ex-gratia payment is expected to start in February 2022 in batches.
In addition, the LCSD will make the same arrangement and provide the ex-gratia payment to instructors and speakers of seminars and workshops organised by the Hong Kong Public Libraries whose programmes were cancelled and could not be rescheduled due to venue closures amid the epidemic. Part-time ushers and part-time ticketing assistants affected by the closure of cultural venues will also be provided with the ex-gratia payment.