Hong Kong tightens social-distancing rules amid eight imported Covid-19 cases

Victor Ting
·2-min read

Hong Kong recorded eight new Covid-19 cases on Monday, all of them imported, as tougher social-distancing measures came into force limiting the number of people who could eat together in restaurants.

The government also launched its contact tracing app, “Leave Home Safe”, which stores users’ travel history and shows them if they could have been exposed to the virus, in an attempt to prevent a fourth wave of infections this winter.

The latest infections involved travellers from Nepal, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh in South Asia, as well as from the Philippines, Spain and the United States. Five of them were identified during their quarantine after entering the city.

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Infected passengers from Nepal ‘may have sparked’ latest cases in Hong Kong

The total number of cases in the city stood at 5,466, with 108 related deaths.

In view of cases in which the virus was found on packaging materials of frozen commodities in mainland China and other places in recent days, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said on Monday that it would extend its free, targeted testing of “high-risk” groups to cold storage workers from Wednesday.

On Saturday, health officials announced a raft of measures designed to prevent a fourth wave, including restricting the number of people who could sit together in restaurants to four, and capping that figure for bars at two, starting on Monday.

Air India banned from entering Hong Kong for fourth time in nearly two months

The government also announced restrictions for the number of people allowed to take staycations in hotels, and planned to introduce mandatory testing for “high-risk” groups. Those who ignore the order will face six months in jail and a fine of HK$25,000 (US$3,224).

Meanwhile, the University Grants Committee revealed it would allocate HK$50 million to eight universities it funded for programmes supporting students through the Covid-19 pandemic, covering areas such as psychological counselling, career planning, as well as physical fitness and healthy living.

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