Hong Kong said it will double the number of people allowed to gather in public and reopen sports venues beginning Friday, in the latest easing of restrictions as coronavirus cases drop from record highs.
The city will allow four people to sit at the same table in restaurants or gather in public, up from the current limit of two, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan said in a briefing Tuesday. All indoor and outdoor sports venues will be allowed to reopen from Friday.
Swimming pools will remain shut and mask-wearing requirements remain in force.
Hong Kong has been gradually loosening social-distancing measures as it brings its worst Covid-19 outbreak under control. It last week extended restaurant dining hours and reopened gyms and massage parlors. The city also announced the reopening of schools in phases.
After seeing daily local case numbers reach a peak of 145 at the end of July, the Asian financial hub has been reporting no more than 15 local infections for nine straight days.
The government is also in the midst of a Beijing-backed campaign to get everyone in the city tested. Health experts see the drive as an additional weapon against the disease, and preparation for any resurgence of infection.
More than 1.2 million residents had completed the tests as of yesterday morning, through which 16 new infections have been identified in the community, according to government data. That participation trails the 3 million turnout hoped for by the lab running the project. The government extended the program at most testing centers for four additional days, to Sept. 11. Jinshan Hong, Bloomberg