Hong Kong will begin to relax some social distancing measures from Friday, as the city has recorded fewer cases of novel coronavirus, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced during a news conference on Tuesday.
Starting on May 8, the city will increase the number of people permitted to gather at one time from four to eight.
- The number of people allowed to sit together at a table will be increased to eight
- Diners will still be required to wear a face mask unless eating or drinking
Restaurants will continue to be required to:
- Conduct temperature checks
- Provide hand sanitizer
- Ensure a 1.5-meter distance between tables
The new measures will be in place until May 21.
Meanwhile, Lam announced that some premises previously ordered to close will be allowed to reopen on Friday.
- Gaming centers
- Fitness centers
- Beauty salons
- Massage parlors
- Mahjong centers
- Bars -- but there will be a limit on the number of customers allowed at one time, and live music performances will be banned.
Other premises considered high-risk for virus transmission, such as karaoke centers, party rooms, public bathrooms, and nightclubs, will remain shut.
Meanwhile, schools in Hong Kong will gradually reopen in phases from May 27. The first batch of students returning to classrooms will include those attending Form Three to Form Five in secondary schools. Others, except those attending the first two years of kindergarten, will gradually return to schools by June 15.
In addition, Lam announced that the city will hand out single-use face masks and reusable masks to its residents from late June. Each household will be given 10 single-use masks, while each resident can also register for a reusable mask.
Read more about Hong Kong's containment of the virus: