HK to extend social distancing measures

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has announced that social distancing rules will be extended for 14 days until 7 May, which includes the compulsory closure of bars, pubs and nightclubs.

The first round of social distancing measures in Hong Kong were expected to end on 23 April. Despite the city showing good signs of containing the spread of virus, with no infection recorded on 20 April for the first time in six weeks, the government has decided to remain vigilant and extend the measures.

From now until 7 May, citizens should continue to comply with the ban on public gatherings of more than four people. Premises mainly used for the sale of alcohol will still be forced to shut for another 14 days.

According to a follow-up statement from the Food and Health Bureau, compulsory measures, for example 1.5m distances between tables, are still in place; but a cap on customer numbers at restaurants to 50% capacity will be relaxed.

Lam said that so far, there had been 34 prosecutions of restaurants and 131 penalty notices issued for the breaching of group gathering restrictions.

The city has achieved the record of a single-digit increase in Covid-19 cases for over a week. In total, Hong Kong has recorded 1,026 cases and four deaths from the virus.

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