Social distancing measures tightened

February 8, 2022

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


Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced today that the Government will further tighten the social distancing measures in view of the COVID-19 epidemic situation, including prohibiting more than two households from gathering in private premises.


Mrs Lam told the media this afternoon that the new rules will be under the Prevention & Control of Disease Regulation.


The maximum number of people permitted for group gatherings in public places will be lowered from four to two.


The Government will, for the first time, also impose restrictions on group gatherings in private premises by limiting multi-household gatherings in private premises to two families. 


“I hope we all realise that the time has come for Hong Kong to take some tough measures. And every measure that we now introduce has been undertaken in other jurisdictions, including some places and countries which are very proud of their human rights, their democracy and so on. They are doing all these sorts of things because this is about life.


“Public health prevails, very often, over individual freedoms, but we will not put any individual in Hong Kong in a situation where they simply could not live their life. So, there will be exemptions. There will be compassionate treatment for this and that,” Mrs Lam said.


Currently, there are 17 categories of scheduled premises under Cap 599F of the Prevention & Control of Disease (Requirements & Directions) (Business & Premises) Regulation.


Mrs Lam announced that the scope of scheduled premises will be expanded to cover places of worship, shopping malls, department stores, supermarkets, wet markets and hair salons.


The closure requirements on catering businesses and scheduled premises will be extended to February 24, while places of worship and hair salons will also have to close from February 10 to 24.


From February 24, people entering all scheduled premises, including the six new categories, will have to adhere to the vaccine pass arrangements by using the LeaveHomeSafe mobile app and presenting their vaccination record.


The vaccine pass arrangement will also be applied in schools, universities, government-subsidised premises and offices in the public sector.


Additionally, the fixed penalty for any person who fails to comply with the compulsory testing requirement will be doubled from $5,000 to $10,000.


The Chief Executive supplemented that the Government will also amend the Employment Ordinance to prevent labour disputes arising from the anti-epidemic measures.

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