The city of Hong Kong's social distancing rules are expected to expire at midnight on Tuesday, August 25. This easing of restrictions comes as dail
The city of Hong Kong‘s social distancing rules are expected to expire at midnight on Tuesday, August 25. This easing of restrictions comes as daily new COVID-19 cases have dropped to single digits – but authorities have warned this number could spike.
Restaurants will resume so clients can eat inside them until 9pm and cinemas and beauty parlours will reopen on Friday.
From August 28, masks will no longer be obligatory in country parks or for people exercising outdoors.
However, bars and nightclubs will remain closed.
Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan has said the number of daily cases has dropped but the city could be hit with more infections.
She said: “However, under the new normal, it is almost impossible for us to wait until there are no more local cases before relaxing the social distancing measures.
“And unless there are drastic changes to the epidemic situation, we will issue new directions before Friday.”
Professor Chan urged residents to stay alert and take part in the community testing, which will be rolled out from September 1.
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Hong Kong had its first COVID-19 case in January and experienced a second wave in March.
Following this, the authorities introduced stricter border controls and used electronic bracelets to track new arrivals and ensure they stay at home.
One of the possible reasons for a third wave is that 200,000 people, including seafarers and aircrews were exempt from any travel quarantine.
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This week, the University of Hong Kong published evidence of the world’s first case of coronavirus re-infection.
The genetic sequencing showed a different strain of the virus.
A German disease expert, Lothar Wieler, has spoken about the potential for a third wave of the virus.
He said: “We know with great certainty that there will be a second wave.
“The majority of scientists are sure of this. One also assumes there will be a third wave.”