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Curbs on public gatherings retained, as 5 new Covid-19 cases reported

20 October 2020

 By The SUN 

No more than 4 people can gather in public still, but tour groups can have up to 30 members

The ban on more than four people eating and talking together in public has been extended for another week by health officials.

But travel agencies will be allowed to book tour groups of no more than 30 people starting this Friday, Oct 23. Up to 50 people can also gather for a wedding, but they must not eat or drink together.

The new measures were announced today, Oct 20,  by Food and Health Secretary Dr Sophia Chan, as five new coronavirus cases, including one local infection with no known source, were reported.

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Hong Kong’s total cases are now 5,262 with 105 deaths.

Of the 127 infected patients who remain in hospital, 12 are in critical condition, five are serious, and 110 are in stable condition.

According to Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan from the Centre for Health Protection, the lone untraceable case is a 32-year-old female clerk who tested positive after leaving a sample at the Yau Ma Tei Testing Centre on Oct 18.

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Five or six of her family members who live with her at Grand Promenade in Sai Wan Ho will have to be tested and put in isolation. Some of her colleagues and about 100 employees who were on the same floor as her office will also be tested.

The four other cases were all imported. Three were returnees from India, Britain and France, while the fourth was a cargo plane pilot from Russia.

Chan and Yau announce the new measures (RTHK photo)

For the local tours, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Edward Yau, said agents will be required to list down the personal details of each tour member, check their temperature, and ensure they wear masks all the time.

 
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Yau said agents who breach the rules could lose their license.

He dismissed suggestions this step would encourage more people to gather in pubic, saying many people are already out and about as the local outbreak eases.

But existing restrictions such as limited seating in bars and restaurants will continue.

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Dr Chan explained, "We still don't want to see crowds gathering... but the risks involving tour groups are manageable as the exemptions come with conditions.”

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