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Govt extends gathering restrictions for another week

13 October 2020

By The SUN

People are asked to continue practising good personal hygiene to prevent a new spike in cases

The government has extended for another week regulations allowing only up to four people to gather in public, and requiring everyone to wear a mask in all public places, unless doing strenuous exercises.

Also to be maintained are the requirements that no more than four people could sit together in restaurants, and only two in bars. Everyone must wear a mask, unless eating or drinking.

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And despite an intense lobbying by musicians and other performers who have been out of jobs for months, the ban on live shows remain in force.

The decision was announced today, Oct 13, via a statement released on the government website:

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The restrictions, which were due to lapse on Friday, Oct 16, will be extended for another week, or until Oct 22.

The press statement quoted a spokesman for the Food and Health Bureau as saying that the seven-day average of locally acquired cases continued to increase, with a number of them being from unknown sources.

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But he said the aim is not to have zero infections for an extended period of time.

“Although we would much prefer seeing no local cases, it would be unavoidable to have sporadic cases and clusters in the community from time to time as the virus will co-exist with us for quite a long period of time before effective treatment and vaccination become available,” said the statement.


There is now a targeted approach for reducing the number of infections within the community, said the spokesman. This means, working closely with relevant trades to strengthen infection control measures within their venues.

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The public is also advised against letting their guards down despite the number of cases falling to between single digits or low double digits in the past several days.

The statement warned of a large-scale community outbreak if people did not keep up with the social distancing protocols. It said the latest virus strain has higher transmissibility, which means that unless people took extra care, the predicted fourth wave of the epidemic may arrive early.
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