Hong Kong government tightened a series of social distancing measures including ordering restaurants to shut at 6pm to contain the city’s worsening forth wave of Covid-19, adding more stress to the city’s dining sector as Christmas nears.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam at a press conference today announced that the government is rolling back measures to ban dine-in at restaurants after 6pm and ordered gyms, beauty and massage parlors to close.
The measures will last until December 23, and will be possibly extended if the city’s cases continue to rise.
Hong Kong has already limited dining at restaurants to two person per table, and the new measures will likely further inflict more financial pains to the city’s 8,000-strong restaurants that are already heavily hit by the pandemic, especially when many were counting on Christmas deals to bring in business.
Lam said the government will provide financial assistance to affected business but stopped short at hammering out details.
Lam also warned that residents should stay vigilant and stay home amid the city’s worsening forth wave where daily cases for a week had surpassed 100.
The city also raised penalty for people who fail to comply with social distancing measures from original HK$2,000 to HK$5,000.
Since November 17, more than 1,000 cases have been reported, only a few of which were brought from outside the city.
The city is also asking residents in high-risk area to get free Covid-19 tests.