Hong Kong set to dramatically reduce social-distancing measures


Hong Kong is set to dramatically reduce its social-distancing measures this week, allowing public gatherings of up to 50 people and letting wedding banquets resume, a media report said on Tuesday.

The significant relaxation of rules brought in to combat the coronavirus pandemic is expected to come into effect on Friday, and also includes the cancellation of customer limits for restaurants, while the maximum number of people per room in karaoke lounges will double from eight to 16, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) newspaper report said.

But tables would still have to be 1.5 metres apart.

In bars, pubs, and nightclubs the restriction limiting tables to groups of four people will be changed to allow eight people per table.

Live performances can also resume, but entertainers must wear a mask or maintain a distance from the audience.

Speaking ahead of her weekly Executive Council meeting, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said although the government would take a relaxed approach, some sort of social distancing was still necessary.

“Can we relax to an extent of a total lift? That”s quite risky, as we see some cities such as Beijing had some new local cases, while some other countries had a return of cases too, so we must be very careful,” she said.

The new measures come after last week”s announcement that the city”s two major theme parks, Ocean Park and Disneyland, would reopen, while conventions and trade shows return in July, with the much-loved Hong Kong Book Fair leading the way, said the SCMP report.

On Tuesday, Hong Kong recorded no new cases of locally transmitted COVID-19.

The total number of confirmed infections in the city stands at 1,112, with four related deaths.

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