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Rules relaxed but public gatherings still limited to 2 persons

18 February 2021

By Daisy CL Mandap

All restaurants must display a QR code which customers could scan before being seated

Several businesses reopened today, Feb 18, more than two months after being shut at the height of the fourth wave of coronavirus infections in the city.

This comes as the number of new Covid-19 cases dropped anew to eight, all of them locally acquired.

Reopened were cinemas, gyms, massage and beauty parlors, amusement games centers, theme parks, and indoor and outdoor sports venues. Still shut are karaoke bars, swimming pools and bath houses, night clubs or pubs, and party rooms.

However, rules that allow only up to two people to gather in public have been extended until Mar 3.

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A statement issued late Wednesday said “if there is no major change to the epidemic situation, the government will seek the approval from the Executive Council shortly to relax the relevant group gathering restriction from two persons to four persons.”

The wearing of masks in public places, both indoors and outdoors, and on all public transportation, will likewise remain in place.

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Along with the reopening of venues, restaurants were allowed to seat up to four people to a table, and to extend dining hours from 6pm to 10pm. But they will be able to fill only 50 percent of their eatery’s dining capacity.

On top of these requirements, staff at the reopened venues must take a Covid-19 test every 14 days, with the first test to be conducted between Feb 11 and Feb 24.

All the venues are also required “to ensure as far as practicable” that their customers scan their "LeaveHomeSafe" QR code, or register their names, contact numbers and the dates and times of their visits before being allowed entry, with the records to be kept for 31 days.

Restaurants may seat 4 to a table starting today
Health officials did not conduct the daily press briefing on the coronavirus situation, as the number of new cases fell back to a single digit. The eight new cases took the total number of cases to 10,820 confirmed and one probable cases.


Three of the cases were of unknown sources while five were linked to previous infections.

The first untraceable case involves a 49-year-old housewife who developed sore throat and cough on Feb 11 but consulted at a public clinic only five days later.

The second case involves another housewife who is 43 years old. She developed a fever on Feb 14 and sought treatment two days later at Kwong Wah Hospital.

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 The third is a 54-year-old female staff of the Yuen Yuen Nursing Home Cum Day Care Centre for the Elderly in Shun Lee estate. She developed fever, sore throat and headache on Feb 12 but went to work until Feb 15. She went to a community testing center on Feb 16.

Two more patients were reported to have passed away in the past 24 hours. They brought to 191 the number of patients with Covid-19 to have died in public hospitals.

The first was a 57-year-old male patient with chronic illness who had been in intensive care at Princess Margaret Hospital since Jan 7. He succumbed at 12:05pm yesterday.

The second was a 68-year-old man with chronic disease who was released from isolation at Prince of Wales Hospital on Feb 5 after he was found to have antibodies. But his condition eventually deteriorated and he succumbed at 6:42pm yesterday.

The Centre for Health Protection says its investigations and contact tracing on the confirmed cases are ongoing. It advised the public to seek medical attention as soon as symptoms develop.

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