Religious gathering restrictions eased

May 19, 2020

(To watch the full media session with sign language interpretation, click here.)


The requirement limiting group gatherings in public places to a maximum of eight people will be extended to June 4, but religious gatherings will be exempt with certain restrictions to be imposed on them.


The move was announced at a media session jointly hosted by Secretary for Food & Health Prof Sophia Chan and Secretary for Home Affairs Caspar Tsui today.


Worshippers will not be allowed to eat or drink at places of worship except food and drink used for religious rites, while the number of people attending religious gatherings should be up to half of the venue's capacity.


“It is through the collective efforts of the Government and the religious leaders, especially if you look at the measures that we have implemented. For example, only 50% of people attending the gatherings, that is one, and keeping the distance between people attending these activities is also another. 


“Most of the religious leaders are very forthcoming in also suggesting and implementing tighter measures than what we have suggested. We are all in this fight together and how we can go back to a more normal daily routine is something we need to work (on) and work together,” Mr Tsui said.


He added that the Government had been closely liaising with religious leaders and groups on relaxing the social distancing measures in order to resume religious gatherings.


“We have seen that in other cities or areas they have some very successful cases of implementation of how we can balance the act of lowering the risk of infection during religious gathering activities.


“Of course, the bottom line is we also need to get the experts’ advice to see whether these measures are sufficient in order to contain the possible spread of the virus as well. So we will continue to monitor the situation.


“If a potential infection is a possible risk, there may be a need to tighten the relaxation (measures) again.”

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