- Hong Kong will be re-imposing strict Covid-19 measures from Friday as the city is bracing for the spread of the highly infectious omicron outbreak.
- "We are facing a very dire situation of a major community outbreak any time, and that's why we have to take very decisive measures," Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Wednesday.
- Hong Kong recorded 38 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, and has 12,708 confirmed cases so far, according to a government website.
From bars and pubs to sports premises and karaoke rooms, Hong Kong will be banning most public activities from Friday.
The Asian financial hub will be re-imposing strict Covid-19 measures for two weeks — starting Friday to Jan. 20 — as the city braces for the spread of the highly infectious omicron variant. They will be reviewed in one week.
"We are facing a very dire situation of a major community outbreak any time, and that's why we have to take very decisive measures," Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Wednesday when she announced a slew of stringent measures in a bid to contain the outbreak as early as possible.
The government also announced that incoming flights from eight countries will be banned from Saturday to Jan. 21. They are: Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Hong Kong recorded 38 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, and has 12,708 confirmed cases so far, according to a government website.
So far, 73.4.% of the total population has received two doses of a vaccine as of Thursday, according to government data.
The city continues to adopt a strict, zero-Covid approach — with up to three weeks of mandatory quarantine and other testing requirements. This is in sharp contrast to many countries around the world, which have shifted to a strategy of "living with Covid" on the back of rising vaccinations rates.
The tightened social distancing rules include a ban on eating in restaurants after 6 p.m., closure of theme parks, museums and venues including fitness centers and bars.
The government is also canceling a mass cycling event, Cyclothon, and entertainment facilities such as Hong Kong Disneyland, cruise ship tours and nightclubs and karaoke venues for 14 days starting Friday.
Here's a list of everything that will be closed from Jan. 7.
- Restaurants must stop offering dine-in services to customers daily from 6 p.m. until 4.59 a.m. local time the following day.
- Bars or pubs will be closed.
- No live performance and dancing activity is allowed in catering premises. Karaoke or mahjong-tin kau activity should also be suspended.
- Entertainment premises shut: theme parks, museums, party rooms, karaoke rooms, game centers, Chinese-style gambling establishments for mahjong and tin kau (dominoes); cinemas as well as event and performance venues will also be closed.
- Sports and beauty activities: fitness centers, swimming pools, sports premises, as well as beauty parlors and bathhouses will be shut.
- Tours to cease: All local tours and "cruises-to-nowhere" suspended.
- Public hospital and nursing home visits to be halted.