The Buzz | Hong Kong to reopen venues, relax distancing rules as cases drop

Hong Kong will allow restaurant dining-in services until 10 p.m. and relax other social-distancing rules after the Chinese New Year, as the city tries to move past a winter wave that’s throttled the economy.
The city will permit four people per dining table, doubling from the current limit of two, starting from Feb. 18, if the virus remains contained over the Lunar New Year, officials said at a briefing yesterday. Venues ranging from indoor and outdoor sports centers, beauty parlors, theme parks and cinemas will also be allowed to reopen.
“We are cautiously positive on the epidemic,” Food and Health Secretary Sophia Chan said. “If Hong Kong residents continue to observe social-distancing rules, following this trend, we hope we can resume normal life after Lunar New Year.”
Hong Kong will require staff virus tests if businesses want to reopen. The government is also discussing relaxing the public gathering rule to four people as well, from the current limit of two, according to Chan.
The Asian financial hub has seen cases fading to a few dozens in the past week, after Hong Kong deployed compulsory testing and neighborhood lockdowns in an attempt to achieve zero cases in the community.

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