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FCC Statement on World Press Freedom Day

    
 
This World Press Freedom Day, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club Hong Kong reinforces its commitment to pushing to maintain freedom of the press in Hong Kong and around the globe.
 
As journalists and media organisations in Hong Kong face rising pressure and uncertainty due to the recent passing of the Safeguarding National Security Act, May 3 acts as a reminder for government officials to respect their stated commitment to press freedom. It is also a day for media professionals to reflect on issues of press freedom and professional ethics.
 
Today we celebrate the media’s role in providing a platform to tell stories which keep our society informed and engaged about issues which affect us all. We advocate for journalists’ right to continue to carry out their work unhindered, free of harassment and danger.
 
We show solidarity with Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter who has been detained in Russia for over a year, and the hundreds of journalists imprisoned or killed as a consequence of doing their jobs covering conflicts in Myanmar, Ukraine, the Middle East and elsewhere.  
 
The Israel-Gaza war, in particular, calls attention to the need for governments to do more to safeguard journalists’ ability to inform the public. We mourn the 97 journalists and media workers killed in the course of covering that war, and express our deep concern for the 45 others reported injured, missing or arrested.1
 
The FCC will continue to monitor the press freedom situation in Hong Kong, make statements and question government policy with an aim to ensure that journalists can carry out their work without fear or favour.

“Freedom of the press is a precious privilege that no country can forgo” – Mahatma Gandhi



1Committee to Protect Journalists, 29 April 2024 https://cpj.org/2024/04/journalist-casualties-in-the-israel-gaza-conflict

FCC Statement on border entry denial of Reporters Without Borders representative

    
 
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong is concerned that a representative of global press freedom NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has been denied entry to Hong Kong by the city’s immigration officials.
 
Aleksandra Bielakowska travelled to Hong Kong twice in 2023 without incident, both times in her professional capacity as an Advocacy Officer at RSF, but was denied entry on this trip. Her colleague Cédric Alviani, who was travelling with Ms Bielakowska on April 10, was granted entry to Hong Kong.
 
The FCC has reached out to the Immigration Department to ask why Ms Bielakowska was denied entry.
 
While we appreciate that the Immigration Department does not normally comment on individual cases, we respectfully request an explanation in order to improve the transparency of the system, and so that the public may better understand the reasons behind the decision.
 
 

FCC Submission on the Consultation Document of Article 23 of the Basic Law

On February 28, The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong sent the following submission to the Security Bureau on the Consultation Document of Article 23 of the Basic Law.

FCC Minimum Spend

FCC Minimum Spend
      
Dear Members:
Whilst the FCC has continued to operate despite the COVID-19 related restrictions, the Board is aware that some members have not been able to fully utilise their membership in recent months. In consideration of this, it has been agreed that the minimum spend requirement which would normally be charged to members at the end of March will be rolled over for three months and will now appear on members’ June accounts. The facility to purchase vouchers for later use will also continue to be available. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all members for their continued support of the FCC.
16 March 2022

FCC Nomination for the Board of Governors 2022 – 2023

FCC Nomination for the Board of Governors
2022 – 2023
      
Dear Members:
The FCC Annual Nomination Meeting will be held on Wednesday, 6 April 2022 for the purpose of accepting oral nominations for the Board of Governors for the 2022 – 2023 Term.
Under the provisions of the Articles of Association, nominations may also be made in writing.
For those who wish to make a written nomination or nominations, please use the form(s) we are sending to you by mail or you can ask from the office. The written nominations should be delivered to the Club office, either in person or by registered letter, no later than 5pm on Wednesday, 6 April 2022.
Nominations are invited for the following positions:
A President who shall be a Correspondent Member. The nomination must be made and seconded by Correspondent Members.
A First Vice-President who shall be a Correspondent Member. The nomination must be made and seconded by Correspondent Members.
A Second Vice-President who may be a Journalist Member or an Associate Member. The nominations may be made and seconded by Correspondent Members, Journalist Members or Associate Members.
Eight (8) Correspondent Member Governors who shall be Correspondent Members. The nominations must be made and seconded by Correspondent Members.
Two (2) Journalist Member Governors who shall be Journalist Members. The nominations may be made and seconded by Correspondent Members or Journalist Members.
Four (4) Associate Member Governors who shall be Associate Members. The nominations may be made and seconded by any Voting Member.
               
A Member being nominated does not mean that he or she is elected a Club Officer. An election by mail ballot will be held subsequently and the mail ballot papers together with a list of candidates accepted will be sent to all Members of the Club one week after the Nomination Meeting.
A candidate for election to the Board of Governors can accept nomination for only one position on the Board of Governors.
By order of the Board of Governors,
Keith RICHBURG
President

FCC helps the community during the pandemic

FCC helps the community during the pandemic
      
Dear Members:
I would like to update you that FCC is joining hands with the community in the fight against the covid pandemic. We hope our small acts can help relieve the mounting pressure on some social welfare organizations.
Currently, FCC has collaborated with HELP for Domestic Workers to donate meals, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and water to those having to quarantine.
Furthermore, we are working with China Coast Community, which provides residential care for English-speaking elderly persons regardless of their financial circumstances, to donate food, face masks and rapid test kits. To make a direct donation please get in touch with Rita at [email protected]
I strongly encourage all members and your friends to show support to the community during this crisis. Here is a list of the many charities that support Hong Kong’s most vulnerable that you can donate to, whether it’s through financial means, your time by volunteering, or giving items that people might need like rapid test kits or household items to battle the pandemic.
HandsOn Hong Kong
https://www.handsonhongkong.org/Our-NGO-Partners
Some other voluntary groups, NGOs and charities
https://www.angloinfo.com/hong-kong/directory/hong-kong-voluntary-groups-ngoscharities-551
NGOs providing subvented services
https://www.swd.gov.hk/en/index/site_links/page_ngowebsite/
Your participation means a lot to the people in need in this time of crisis. Stay healthy and safe.
Keith Richburg
President

Update on COVID-19 Preventive Measures

Update on COVID-19 Preventive Measures
      
Dear Members:
Further to my communication of 26 February 2022, I would like to update you on the Club's current policy in light of the current situation with COVID-19.
Going forward, we will adopt a policy of remaining open even if there are cases of infections found among Staff or Members/Guests, albeit with reduced services. This policy is in line with the government regulations, details of which are provided in the regular "What’s On" communications.
Every evening, we will undertake enhanced cleaning of the Club Premises. If we have any reports of infection from Staff or Members/Guests, then the affected areas will be subjected to a further deep cleaning overnight. We do not intend to advise Members every time there is an infection, after obtaining medical advice and because it is clear that the omicron variant, while more contagious than past strains, is less virulent.
Please bear in mind that:
(i) All Staff are double vaccinated, and currently undertaking their Booster shots.
(ii) All Members and their Guests must swipe the "LeaveHomeSafe" application and show proof of vaccination in order to gain entry to the Club, in line with Government regulations.
               
Our Members' health, along with that of our team, remains our most important priority. We thank all Members for their understanding and support of the Club. Please stay safe.
Keith Richburg
President
1 March 2022
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The FCC Lounge & Main Bar will reopen on Sunday Feb 27 with limited food service & implementation of “Vaccine Pass”

The FCC Lounge & Main Bar will reopen on Sunday Feb 27 with limited food service & implementation of “Vaccine Pass”
      
Dear Members:
I am writing to update you that, following our closure due to a preliminary positive Covid infection of a staff member, we will be reopening the Club Lounge & Main Bar on Sunday Feb 27 with limited food service. During the closure, we took the opportunity to deep clean the entire Club premises. There will be no booking available for Feb 27 and the office will resume service on Feb 28. We will ensure that all staff members have completed the rapid test and have a negative result before returning to work. The rest of our outlets will be back to normal operation gradually in the next couple days, so please be patient and stay tuned.
The FCC restrictions will continue as follows:
All restaurants will close at 6 p.m. every day. Last food orders must be made by 5 p.m. and last drinks orders by 5:30 p.m. Maximum 2 persons are allowed per table, each member can bring 1 guest.
The takeaway menu is available from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. The menu can be downloaded from our website at fcchk.org. Please place orders with the FCC Restaurant at 2844 2806 or [email protected]. All orders will be confirmed by a phone call.
No banqueting is available. There will be no in person club luncheon talks but the Club will organize some zoom talks to members.
No music performances will be held at this time.
The gym is closed.
All persons must wear a face mask at all times within Club premises, except when eating or drinking at the table.
               
Please also be aware that the Club is now fully implementing the government's “Vaccine Pass", meaning that anyone aged 12 or above must present a QR code of their vaccination record (at least the 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccine) or an exemption certificate for scanning. Anyone who is unable provide valid proof of vaccination will be denied entry to the Club, according to the government’s regulation. You can visit here to know how to obtain a QR code version of a medical exemption certificate.
The “Vaccine Pass” has 3 phrases based on vaccination status. Please refer to the table here.
Members and their guests must scan the “LeaveHomeSafe” QR code before entering the Club, including to use the workroom. Only the specific three groups of persons have the option to either using either the “LeaveHomeSafe” apps or completing a specified form.
Please be aware that mask wearing is a government requirement except when eating and drinking, and anyone not wearing a mask faces a $5000 fine. In case of an inspection and a fine being issued, the Club is not responsible.
Our Members' health, along with that of our team, remains our most important priority. We thank all Members for their understanding and your continued support. Please stay safe, everyone.
Keith Richburg
President
26 February 2022

Important Notice: The FCC is Now Closed until further notice – Staff member tested positive for COVID-19

Important Notice: The FCC is Now Closed until further notice – Staff member tested positive for COVID-19
      
Dear Members:
Unfortunately, we have been notified that one member of our FCC staff has tested preliminary positive for COVID-19 this morning. The staff member was last on duty on Thursday, 17 February in the Lounge and Main Bar, where they wore a mask at all times. The staff member is now staying at home and is in fine condition, showing no symptoms.
Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our Members and staff, we have decided to close the Club with immediate effect. All staff of the FCC will undergo a Government COVID test. The Club will only reopen gradually when we have received the results of all the Staff tests. In the meantime, a deep cleaning and sanitising of the entire Club premises will be undertaken during the period of closure. We will inform members as soon as we can regarding when we are in a position to reopen the Club facilities.
If you have visited the FCC last week and have concerns, you may consider testing or seek medical advice if you’re feeling unwell. Please see the below testing stations for your reference:
Community testing centres
https://www.communitytest.gov.hk/en/info
Mobile specimen collection stations
https://booking.communitytest.gov.hk/_data/pdf/2022-02-21-a-mscs.pdf
Our Members' health, along with that of our team, remains our most important priority. We thank all Members for their understanding and we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this has caused. We will keep you informed as updates become available.
For questions or concerns, please contact General Manager, Didier Saugy, or Admin Office, Joanne Chung. Table reservation and takeaway is not available until the Club reopens.
Please stay safe.
Keith Richburg
President

Reminder: New club restrictions starting from tomorrow

New club restrictions starting from tomorrow
      
Dear Members:
Please be reminded the latest club restrictions starting from tomorrow February 16, 2022:
All member and guest aged 12 or above must receive at least 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccine unless having a medical certificate in order to dine in a group of 4 at restaurants, except Bert’s still allows unvaccinated person seated in a table of 2 until February 23.
The Club will close at 6 p.m.
Last orders for food will be 5 p.m. while last orders for drinks will be 5:30 p.m.
The gym is closed.
A mandatory use of “LeaveHomeSafe” QR code before entering the premise.
“Vaccine Pass” will be fully implemented with effective from February 24.
               
More details about the recent restrictions and “Vaccine Pass”, feel free to visit https://www.fcchk.org/further-tightening-of-restrictions-vaccine-pass-on-feb-24/
Thank you for your continuous support of the FCC. Please take care, stay safe and healthy.
February 15, 2022

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