, Hong Kong

Stop the party! Gov’t prolongs social distancing rules until 13 July

Negative tests are required from customers of bars, pubs, clubs, and nightclubs.

The government declared an extension of existing social distancing measures from 30 June to 13 July 2022, which will still mandate negative test results for clients of nightclubs, bars, pubs, and clubs.

“In view of the latest epidemic trend and given that the effective period of the measures in the coming cycle will span to the next government term, having consulted the Chief Executive-elect's Office and with its consent, the Government decided to extend the existing social distancing measures for 14 days with effect from June 30,” read the statement.

Under the measures, catering businesses must stop dine-in operations from 12 am to 4:59 am but they may still sell or supply food or drink for takeaway services and deliveries.

“A person responsible for carrying on a catering business is also required to put up a notice at the entrance to the catering premises to remind patrons that food or drink should not be consumed in areas adjacent to the catering premises,” read the statement.

Those who enter bar or pub zones inside catering premises should still present evidence of a negative rapid antigen test result obtained “within 24 hours before entering the relevant zone, otherwise, they should be denied entry to the relevant zone.” 

Maximum number of persons for every table for catering businesses will be eight whilst banquets with no more than 120 persons will be allowed. 

But live performances and dancing will remain prohibited.

Bars and pubs are open daily from 5 a.m.to 1:59 a.m. of the subsequent day with a maximum number of four persons at each table and must operate at 75% capacity.

Masks are still required when using public transport or other public areas.

“Citizens are allowed not to wear masks if they are present in outdoor public places in country parks and special areas as defined in section 2 of the Country Parks Ordinance (Cap. 208), or conducting strenuous physical activity (e.g. exercising or jogging) in outdoor public places,” read the announcement.

Mask violators must pay a fine at level 3 or $10,000. Authorities can issue penalty notices to those who will breach the mask mandate. 

For those who will violate group gatherings rules, offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $25,000, and imprisonment for six months. 

Also, persons who participate in a banned group gathering may discharge liability for the offence by paying a fixed penalty at $5,000.

News reports said Hong Kong has been seeing a rise in cases but in early June, the government said it is still too early to declare whether the market is experiencing a sixth wave.

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