Hong Kong relaxes social distancing rules for weddings, local tours

The number of maximum attendees has been raised to 50 people.

The Hong Kong government will further relax social distancing measures beginning 23 October to allow for more people in local tours, weddings, and meetings.

Licensed travel agents may now organise local tours involving not more than 30 people. Travel agents must first register with the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong for each tour in advance and strictly implement anti-epidemic measures.

These include wearing of masks by participants all the time except when having a meal and restricting the maximum number of persons on a vehicle to 50% of its seat capacity.

Meanwhile, the maximum number of persons in wedding ceremonies, at which no food or drink is served, has been increased to 50 people from only 20 previously.

For meetings, the maximum number of attendees in a room or partitioned area has also been raised to 50 from 20, provided that no food or drink is served.

Unless exempted, the prohibition on group gatherings of more than four persons in public places will continue until 29 October. Offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $25,000 and imprisonment for six months; whilst those who participate in a prohibited group gathering will have to pay a penalty of $2,000, according to the press release.

Requirements and restrictions for catering businesses and scheduled business will also be maintained during the seven day period of 23 October to 29 October.

To provide more opportunities for the general public to exercise to maintain physical and mental health, the government will allow team sports at swimming pools, with a maximum of about four persons, based on the particular team sports activities.

Activities and facilities involving higher health risks—such as dancing activities, steam and sauna facilities and ball pits—will continue to be suspended or prohibited from opening.

The government reiterated that catering businesses and scheduled premises managers who failed to follow guidelines will be subject to a maximum fine of $50,000 and six months imprisonment.

Other social distancing measures, apart from minor refinements, will retain guidelines currently in place until 29 October.

The mandatory mask-wearing requirement has also been extended until 29 October. Offenders will be required to pay a maximum of $5,000, whilst authorized public officers may issue fixed penalty notices of $2,000 to those who do not wear masks.

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