The decision was made in view of the need for members of the public to purchase flowers during the Lunar New Year and florists to sell their hard-earned harvest, according to Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee.

“The flower vendors will be able to use the stalls for free. They will be required to follow strict health measures including taking body temperatures, disinfecting their hands regularly,” said Chan.

“The vendors will also be required to get tested before the commencement of the fairs, which will be provided by the government.”

A series of anti-epidemic measures will also be implemented, including the use of technological measures for crowd control.

Government officials said they will be installing devices to measure the body temperatures of visitors. Infrared receivers will also be installed at the entrances of the venues to calculate the number of visitors.

“The visitor flow will be categorized into three levels, with red meaning ‘very crowded’, followed by yellow and green. The information will be uploaded to a website available for members of the public,” said Lee Che-kit, Chief Engineer of the Electrical & Mechanical Services Department‘s Digitalisation & Technology Division.

Meanwhile, the fairs will be cleaned and disinfected regularly, crowd control measures will also be implemented.

Vivian Lau Lee-kwan, Director of Food & Environmental Hygiene, said the venue will be divided into smaller zones, people will not be able to enter the respective zones once they exceed their capacity.

She also added that the stalls will be provided to the vendors with their priorities determined by drawing of lots, hoping the vendors will at least get one stall each.