Appeal to follow anti-epidemic laws

April 6, 2020

The Government today urged people to continue to support temporary measures implemented to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community, after Police issued fixed penalty tickets to six people who gathered and played chess in public places over the weekend.


The Secretary for Food & Health issued a number of directions according to two regulations that took effect from March 28 and 29 respectively, including the latest one which requires bars and pubs to close for 14 days starting April 3.


One of the new laws regulates the catering sector’s business and operations and 12 categories of premises with a relatively high risk of spreading the virus (scheduled premises), while the other prohibits group gatherings of more than four people in public places.


The Government said maintaining social distancing is key to delaying the spread of COVID-19 in Hong Kong.


The enforcement departments have enhanced manpower to step up patrols in various public places, and remind the relevant premises’ operators and the public to comply with the new requirements by verbal explanation, advice or warning. Fixed penalty tickets were also issued.


From midnight on April 4 to midnight on April 6, Police responded to a 999 complaint and issued fixed penalty tickets to six people who gathered and played chess in public places.


In addition, enforcement departments have conducted 4,114 inspections and given 905 verbal warnings according to the regulations over the same period.


According to the directions related to catering premises, the Food & Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) carried out 4,587 inspections and gave 175 verbal warnings.


The Department of Health (DH) conducted 40 inspections with two verbal warnings given, while Police made 562 inspections and issued 44 verbal warnings. The Home Affairs Department (HAD) also conducted 27 inspections.


As for the directions related to scheduled premises, the FEHD, the Leisure & Cultural Services Department, HAD and Police carried out 54, 46, 27 and 28 inspections at such premises under their purview.


The Government strongly urges people to avoid going to premises which may pose a relatively high risk of infection. The relevant sectors should make adjustments for the sake of public health, lowering the risk of infection to customers.

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