Hong Kong government to tighten social distancing measures after new cases of Covid-19 arise

  • Forty-two cases of the coronavirus have been reported in the last few days, 34 of which were locally transmitted
  • The government will carry out targeted testing of workers in the public transport, elderly care and catering sectors
Wong Tsui-kai |

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Sophia Chan, Secretary for Food and Health, said the government’s goal is to control the number of Covid-19 cases in the city. (Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai)

The government has announced a return to tighter social distancing measures after an outbreak of locally transmitted cases of the coronavirus.

Forty-two new cases, of which 34 were locally transmitted, have pushed the health authorities to order restaurants to operate at only 60 per cent capacity, with a maximum of eight people per table.

This restriction of eight people at one time will also apply to gyms, party rooms and karaoke rooms. Food and drink will also be banned at cinemas and other entertainment facilities.

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The new restrictions will take effect on Saturday.

The government will carry out targeted testing of workers in the public transport, elderly care and catering sectors, after most of the new local cases were linked to either the catering or taxi sector.

Sophia Chan Siu-chee, Secretary for Food and Health, appealed for tolerance of the restrictions, and asked the general public to continue wearing mask wearing and follow other anti-epidemic measures.

“Our target is not to achieve zero infection, but to control the [number of cases] to the level that our health care system can accommodate,” Chan said.