HK government further eases social distancing measures

The Hong Kong government has decided to significantly ease limits on social distancing, with public gatherings of 50 people and restaurants at full capacity now allowed from 19 June.

After months of effort, Hong Kong has shown encouraging signs that it has contained the virus, with confirmed infections remaining 1,112, with four deaths. The government announced on 16 June that it would greatly reduce the social distancing measures and the relax the rules from 19 June 2020.

Restaurants will be allowed to operate at full capacity, and there will no longer be a limit on the number of customers at each table.

Venues holding bar or night club licences, however, will need to remain operating at 50% capacity, with the number of customers per table expanded from four to eight. Live music or dance performances can resume, but all entertainers must wear a mask or keep a distance from the audience. In both cases, tables must stay 1.5 meters distance apart and other precautions, such as temperature checks and the provision of hand sanitisers, are still in force.

Banquets have been given the green light to resume under the new measure, but public outdoor gatherings are limited to 50 people.

It is hoped that the relaxation of the rules will lead to the resumption of economic activities and social life in the city. However, according to Chief Executive Carrie Lam, a certain degree of social distancing should still remain in place and citizens should remain vigilant, as new cases have broken out in some Chinese cities, such as Beijing, recently.

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