Social distancing extended

March 17, 2021

The Government today announced that the social distancing measures currently in place will be maintained until March 31.


The Food & Health Bureau said the COVID-19 epidemic situation in Hong Kong remains volatile since the gradual and orderly relaxation of social distancing measures on February 18.


It pointed out that large-scale cluster outbreaks were found at catering business premises and fitness centres, showing that silent transmission in the community is still active.


Taking into account the latest public health risk assessment, the Government will maintain most of the existing requirements and restrictions applicable to catering businesses and scheduled premises.


Given that patrons staying at catering premises may take off their mask for most of the time in order to eat or drink, the Government will require the catering premises to enhance air ventilation to a minimum level of six air changes per hour by the end of April.


If this could not be achieved, an appropriate air purifier should be installed as an alternative.


In addition, the relevant departments have been actively discussing with the industry to encourage fitness centres to enhance infection control measures on a voluntary basis. Such measures include limiting the number of customers in the premises and exploring more frequent staff virus tests.


Meanwhile, bathhouses, party rooms, clubs or nightclubs, karaoke establishments, mahjong-tin kau premises and swimming pools will remain closed.


Unless exempted, the prohibition on group gatherings of more than four people in public places will continue.


The requirement for wearing a mask at all times when on public transport and in public places will also remain in effect.


The directions and specifications under three relevant regulations have been gazetted.

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