WORLD NEWS

Hong Kong coronavirus cases rise, prompting tightening of social distancing

Published on: 10th July 2020

With the October buying trip only months away, the latest news from Hong Kong will add to concerns for travellers.

Hong Kong coronavirus cases

Commencing this weekend, the Hong Kong government will be tightening social-distancing rules and has asked groups deemed at higher risk of contracting the coronavirus to seek out testing. The news comes after 34 new local coronavirus cases were recorded on Thursday.

From this Saturday (11th July) restaurants can operate at only 60% of normal capacity, with just eight people per table. Meanwhile the maximum limit for tables at bars will be four, and groups visiting gyms, party rooms and karaoke lounges must limit their size to eight.

The government has appealed for workers in public transport, elderly care and catering industries to undergo testing as most of the new local cases were linked to either the catering or taxi sectors, according to secretary for food and health professor, Sophia Chan Siu-chee.

Some of the latest infections were linked to people not wearing masks at work or in public spaces, Sophia said. Consequently, to ensure the preventive measure is better followed, eating will be banned in cinemas and during theatre performances and restaurant diners must also wear a mask when not eating.

“The focus on suppression this time is on mask-off activities, as we understand that recent clusters are from catering businesses,” she said. “We appeal to the public not to share tables in restaurants and to take away [food] instead.”

These new restrictions come as the city battles a third wave of coronavirus infections. A total of 42 cases, eight of which were imported, were recorded on Thursday, taking the total to 1,365.

Among the imported cases, three involved pilots and one crew member returning from Kazakhstan.

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