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Hong Kong announces sweeping social distancing rules as COVID-19 cases spike

ANI | Updated: Jul 13, 2020 21:50 IST


Hong Kong, July 13 (ANI): Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Monday announced that the government will further tighten limits on public gatherings from 50 to four people starting from July 15 amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in the city, CGTN news reported.
Lam said that wearing of masks will be mandatory on public transport and the number of customers allowed at a restaurant table will be capped at four.
To try to prevent the virus from spreading in restaurants, dining rooms will be closed between 6 pm to 5 am (local time). Only takeaways will be allowed during that period.
Twelve types of high-risk venues, including beauty salons, fitness centres, bars and cinemas will also be suspended for seven days.
In a press conference, Lam said the new arrangements would come into effect on Wednesday.

Border control will also be stricter to prevent imported cases, as inbound visitors, who have travelled to high-risk areas during the past 14 days, should test negative for the new coronavirus before boarding flights to Hong Kong, added Lam.
Hong Kong witnessed a resurgence of COVID-19 cases over the past weeks after some control and preventive measures were eased to revive the economy and let residents resume normal lives.
Noting that the entire city needs to work together to fight the outbreak, Lam urged vigilance while hoping that the public would not panic too much amid worries over an escalating wave of coronavirus infections.
Hours earlier, Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection (CHP) reported 52 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, a new high since the pandemic re-emergence, which includes 41 local infections, Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of CHP's Communicable Disease Branch said at a media briefing.
The epidemic situation was grave as cases with unknown sources increased every day, said Chuang, warning that there may be more such cases in the community.
Of the new local infections on Monday, authorities said that 20 cases were untraceable and 21 cases were related to patients previously diagnosed. On Monday, Hong Kong also reported its eighth COVID-19 fatality. (ANI)

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