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Hong Kong relaxes COVID-19 measures as vaccine bubble starts

The government said the new social distancing measures would take effect from today, 29 April.

The Hong Kong government announced the relaxation of social distancing measures with certain conditions, under the “vaccine bubble,” will take effect for two weeks starting 29 April.

"Taking into account our enhanced anti-epidemic capabilities and with the steady progress of the Government's vaccination programme, we consider it an opportune time to adopt a new direction in fighting the pandemic and relax certain restrictions with 'vaccine bubble' as the basis,” a spokesman for the Food and Health Bureau said.

The spokesman also noted that the Bureau will review and adjust the details of the measure depending on the development of the pandemic and the implementation of the vaccine bubble’s first phase.

Under the vaccine bubble, catering businesses may operate under different modes of operation that vary in terms of operating hours and capacity depending on certain conditions, particularly on the vaccination of their staff.

Establishments may open a “Designated Zone C,” where dine-in services may be offered from 5 am until 11:59 pm every day, provided they work with staff who received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. The number of customers may not exceed 50% of its normal seating and no more than six persons may be seated in one table.

Further, a “Designated Zone D” may be set up for establishments with staff who have been fully vaccinated. Zone D may offer dine-in services from 5 am until 1:59 am with customers not exceeding 75% of normal seating. Limits in the number of persons per table will also be raised to 8.

Bars and pubs may also be reopened if its staff have received their first dose. The premises may operate every day from 5 am to 1:59 am with customers not exceeding 50% of its normal capacity.

Here’s more about the latest requirements and restrictions under the Vaccine Bubble.

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