Social distancing set to be eased

March 21, 2022

The Government will relax most of the social distancing measures from April 21 in three phases if the COVID-19 epidemic situation in Hong Kong shows no signs of a rebound and the downward trend of positive cases continues.


Making the announcement a press conference this morning, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said that of yesterday, more than 1.03 million cases have been detected since the fifth wave of the epidemic, while a total of 5,683 death cases have been reported.


It is observed that the peak of the epidemic has passed, ensued by a downward trend in the number of cases.


However, as the epidemic situation remains severe, there is a need to maintain the vast majority of the existing social distancing measures until April 20 as planned.


Mrs Lam noted that the measures can be eased from April 21 onwards on the condition that the epidemic situation shows no signs of a rebound and the downward trend continues. The relaxation will be carried out in three phases over a period of three months.


In phase one, some scheduled premises such as fitness centres and beauty parlours, as well as sports premises, museums, performance venues and libraries under the Leisure & Cultural Services Department will reopen.


Dine-in services at catering businesses from 6pm to 10pm will be resumed, with the maximum number of people per table increased to four.


The maximum number of people permitted for group gatherings in public places will be relaxed to four, while the prohibition on gatherings at private premises involving more than two households will be cancelled.


Other premises including bars and pubs, party rooms and karaoke establishments as well as public beaches will be allowed to reopen in phase two.


During this phase, citizens can take their masks off when they are in country parks or engaging in strenuous physical activities in outdoor public places, at sports premises and fitness centres.


There will also be further relaxation of dine-in service hours at catering businesses to midnight, with the maximum number of people per table increased to eight.


For the last phase, the restrictions on the maximum number of customers, business and dine-in hours, as well as the limitation on the number of people per group gathering at all catering and scheduled premises will be lifted.


Meanwhile, the Government will strive to reach a vaccination rate of 90% among different groups of people by the end of April, including those aged 12 or above, children aged three to 11 and senior citizens living in residential care homes.


The Chief Executive said the Government will continue to closely monitor the epidemic's development in order to formulate more targeted measures, with a view to achieving the greatest anti-epidemic effect at the smallest cost.

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