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Churches now allowed to fill 50% of capacity under relaxed gathering rules

29 April 2021

By The SUN

A church filled to 30% of its capacity under previous restrictions

Churches and other premises used for religious gatherings can be filled to up to 50% of their capacity under relaxed new rules that take effect today, Apr 29, and should last for 14 days until May 12.

A press statement issued by the government also said that if religious events are held outdoors where no food or drink is served, except as part of a religious ritual, the intake could be up to 100% of the capacity.


The news should come as a relief to many churchgoers who have been routinely turned away for public masses in the past weeks because the previous restrictions allowed venues to be filled to only up to 30% of their capacity.

However, the general rule that allows only four people to gather in public stays in place.

According to the government, the restrictions may be relaxed further, depending on the outcome of the initial phase.

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"Depending on the epidemic development and the implementation of the first phase of measures under the 'vaccine bubble', we will review and adjust the details of the measures and consider further relaxation of restrictions in respect of the operation of restaurants and other premises under the second phase,” said its statement. 

The news comes as 15 new Covid-19 cases, all of them imported, were reported today. They took the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Hong Kong to 11,771.


The bulk of the cases, or 13 people aged between 8 to 78, had flown in from Nepal. Eleven tested positive while under quarantine, and two on their arrival at the airport.

The two other patients are both females, one aged 30 who had come in from Indonesia, and another aged 32, who flew in from India. Both were asymptomatic and tested positive while in hotel quarantine.

Restaurants are not keen to comply with vaccination requirements just to take in more diners

Meanwhile, as part of the easing of restrictions, pubs, karaoke bars and party rooms have been allowed to reopen, five months after they were shut down in the wake of a surge in Covid-19 cases.

However, they are being allowed to resume operations only if all their staff and customers have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, unless they are declared unfit for vaccination because of health reasons.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

Business operators say they will have difficulty complying with the new regulations under the so-called “vaccine bubble” because many of their customers and part-time staff are young people who do not want to take the vaccine.

Many restaurants, on the other hand, are not keen to snap up the offer to extend their service hours up to 2am and seat up to eight people to a table, because it comes with even stricter requirements.

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To avail of this concession, all their staff must have been fully vaccinated, and their dine-in customers should have had at least one dose of the vaccine. In addition, customers should use the LeaveHomeSafe app before being allowed to dine in.

Under the new restrictions, tour groups comprising not more than 30 persons are now allowed, as long as they are organized by licensed travel agents whose frontline staff must have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine. Staff who are medically unfit to receive a vaccine should undergo a swab test for Covid-19 within seven days before the start of the tour.

For wedding ceremonies where no food or drink is served, the number of guests will increase to a maximum of 50 from the present 20 if the ceremony is held indoors, and 100 if outdoors.

For business meetings held to comply with an Ordinance or regulations, up to 50 people may now attend (from the present 20) if held indoors, and 100 if outdoors.

Details of the new Regulations can be viewed by clicking this link:


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