Hong Kong to restore 6pm dine-in ban, close gyms and salons as COVID-19 cases increase

Hong Kong is returning to the strict restrictions enacted in July to combat the growing spread of COVID-19. Photo via the Hong Kong government’s Information Services Department
Hong Kong is returning to the strict restrictions enacted in July to combat the growing spread of COVID-19. Photo via the Hong Kong government’s Information Services Department

Hong Kong will implement a new round of COVID-19 restrictions amid a continued increase in cases, the government announced Tuesday. 

Starting Thursday, restaurants will not be allowed to operate dine-in services after 6pm. Establishments including gyms, beauty salons and massage parlors will also shut. The policies, a return to the strict restrictions in July when the city saw its third virus wave, will be in effect for two weeks. 

In an afternoon press conference, Chief Executive Carrie Lam called the rising number of cases “very worrying.”

Health authorities confirmed 100 more cases today, just five of which are imported infections. The figures mark the fifth time that single-day increases have numbered in the triple digits since the new COVID-19 wave began.

Among the local cases Tuesday, 27 have no known source of transmission.

Fears of an outbreak at Kwai Shing West Estate, a housing complex located in Kwai Chung, prompted a midnight evacuation of residents on one of the floors in the block eight apartment. Including the infections confirmed today, a total of 20 residents in the block have tested positive for the virus.

Starting Friday, the penalty for violating group gathering limits and not wearing a face mask will increase to HK$5,000 (US$645), more than double of the earlier fixed fine. Authorities said the higher penalty is needed to deter people from breaching the COVID-19 restrictions.

The city has recorded 7,076 coronavirus cases to date. A total of 112 patients have died from virus-related complications.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article stated that 95 virus cases on Tuesday had no known source of transmission. We regret the error.

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