(Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan. Photo: RTHK) Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in late January Hong Kong has seen a total of 1,112 cases and 4 deaths. Since then there have been no new local confirmed cases of the COVID-19, therefore the authorities have announced relaxation in some rules.
Key Points 1 The number of people to meet and have a gathering has been raised from 8 to 50. 2 The new rule is valid for 14 days from 19th June. 3 Karaoke lounges can have up to 16 people per room with a table distance of 1.5 meters. 4 Wedding banquets can have half the people of the original seating capacity. The decision is made to allow groups of 50 people to meet from Friday the 19th of June. Previously this number was as low as 8, therefore only a group of a maximum of 8 people were able to meet up however after seeing a decrease in the number of cases in recent weeks this new rule will be put in place. However, this rule will come into effect on Friday and will be valid for 14 days. This will also lift the limitation on the customers visiting a restaurant. If we talk about the karaoke lounges the limit has been doubled from 8 to 16 people per room however the tables need to have a distance of 1.5 meters between each other. The Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-Chee said, “The decision was made after taking into consideration the latest public health situation, needs for economic recovery and public expectation for resuming social activities.” Hong Kong will also allow the resumption of wedding banquets as there are no new cases since the past weeks. However, the total number must not exceed half of the original seating capacity. Let’s say the original capacity of seating in the wedding venue is 100. Then the total number of attendees should not be more than 50. The authorities will keep monitoring the situation very closely after relaxation in these rules and we hope that we move towards normalcy each passing day. Dr Leung Chi-Chiu – Advisory Committee on Communication diseases under the Medical Association cautioned saying, “People should wear masks when going around. Buffets should also be avoided. The risk of not wearing a mask and walking around is big.”