Catering measures eased further

June 30, 2020

The Government today announced it will further relax the social distancing measures in relation to catering businesses and scheduled premises, while the limitation on group gatherings in public places will be maintained.


The Food & Health Bureau said as the World Health Organization and health experts advised that COVID-19 will not be eradicated without effective treatment and vaccination, the Government is required to incorporate work in relation to disease prevention and control as well as infection management into society's new normal daily operation.


It said the Government has all along adopted the suppress and lift strategy and strived to strike a balance between public health protection, economic impact, social acceptance and maintaining disease prevention measures while allowing room for society's gradual resumption of normal operations and activities when the situation permits.


In view of the latest public health risk assessment, the Government is of the view that this is an appropriate time to further relax the social distancing measures so that social and economic activities may further resume.


For catering businesses, the restriction on the number of customers at a bar or pub will be relaxed by increasing the limit to 80% of the normal seating capacity of such premises.


The restriction on the number of people at large-scale entertainment stations, machines or facilities at places of public entertainment, cinemas or all places of public entertainment with live performances as well as clubs or nightclubs will be relaxed by increasing the cap to 80% of their capacity.


Other requirements and restrictions in relation to catering business premises and scheduled premises will be maintained.


The number of people allowed in group gatherings in public places will remain at 50.


Under the exempted group gatherings, the restriction on the number of participants in group gatherings during religious activities will be relaxed by increasing the limit to 80% of the number of people that may normally be accommodated in the premises as a place of worship.


The group gathering must be held at premises constructed or regularly used as a place of worship and in which no food or drink is served except as part of a religious ritual.


The latest directions under the Prevention & Control of Disease (Requirements & Directions) (Business & Premises) Regulation and the Prevention & Control of Disease (Prohibition on Group Gathering) Regulation will come into effect on July 3 for a period of 14 days until July 16.


On immigration control measures, the Government has been working closely with the relevant authorities of Guangdong Province and Macau on the mutual recognition of test results and mutual exemption from compulsory quarantine under the framework of joint prevention and control.


Relaxing the restrictions on the cross-boundary movement of people among the three places within certain limits to facilitate those with essential needs to travel between Guangdong and Hong Kong or between Hong Kong and Macau will be considered.


The bureau noted that the epidemic in many overseas countries has rebounded with a drastic increase in new cases after the relaxation of social distancing measures, necessitating the reintroduction of such measures.


The Government will continue to closely monitor the development of the epidemic situation and review the various measures in place from time to time with a view to making suitable adjustments taking into account all relevant factors.


Citizens are strongly urged to stay vigilant and maintain an appropriate social distance from other people as far as possible in their daily lives to minimise the risk of outbreak clusters emerging in the community.

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