Hong Kong to relax social distancing measures as Covid-19 cases drop

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  • Dine-in hours at restaurants will be extended by one hour, until 10pm, and gyms will be allowed to reopen from Friday
  • Outdoor playground and football pitches have not yet been reopened, as contact sports are riskier
South China Morning Post |
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Gyms in Hong Kong will be allowed to reopen from Friday as the government prepares to relax social-distancing measures. Photo: SCMP/ Xiaomei Chen

The Hong Kong government will extend dine-in services at restaurants and let gyms reopen, as the city expects to see its lowest number of new Covid-19 cases in almost two months on Wednesday.

Only eight new infections are expected, the lowest since five new cases were reported on July 3.

According to a source familiar with policymaking, gyms and massage parlours will be allowed to reopen from Friday, but gym goers will have to wear masks while exercising.

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There will be relief too for the city’s struggling restaurants, with dine-in services to be extended an extra hour, allowing people to sit in until 10pm.

All the measures will be relaxed from Friday, after the present rules expire the day before.

“This is to honour the spirit of gradual relaxation so as to minimise the chance of rebound [of coronavirus cases],” the source said. 

Outdoor playground and football pitches have not been reopened yet because contact sports without masking are considered riskier, the source added.

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