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Churches to resume masses, beaches to reopen but strict quarantine rules to stay

30 March 2021

By The SUN 

Churches will be allowed to resume masses starting Wednesday

Churches will be allowed to hold religious gatherings starting Wednesday, the first of several venues to be allowed to resume services under the more relaxed social distancing measures announced by Hong Kong officials on Monday, Mar 29.

This comes ahead of the long Holy Week holiday, one of the most important dates in the Christian calendar.

But in line with strict gathering rules, no eating and drinking will be allowed, and according to Health Secretary Dr Sophia Chan, this means the ritual of communion will not take place.


All religious venues should also be filled only up to 30% of their capacity.

Secretary for Home Affairs Caspar Tsui said the decision to allow churches to resume services was reached after several meetings with religious groups.

On Thursday, more venues will be reopened, including swimming pools, beaches, libraries and museums. Tsui said the Leisure and Cultural Services Department will progressively open other venues, depending on the epidemic situation.

Pindutin para sa detalye

Cinemas, performing venues and theme parks will also be allowed to fill up to 75% of their capacity from the present 50%.

However, other venues classified as “high risk” such as bars, karaoke lounges and mahjong parlours will remain closed for at least two more weeks

Also, the longstanding demand of travelers for the 21-day hotel quarantine to be eased will not happen anytime soon, except for those coming from only three countries deemed as low-risk: Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

For travelers coming from these places, which will include non-residents for the first time, the hotel quarantine will be cut to 14 days. However, they will be required to undergo self-monitoring for a further 7 days, and get tested on the 19th day.

Those coming from countries deemed as “medium risk” can also skip the third week of hotel quarantine if they have received two doses of an anti-Covid-19 vaccine and waited for at least 14 days before their travel.

Travelers from the Philippines will still have to undergo 21-day hotel quarantine

For those flying in from high risk countries which presently include the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, South Africa, the United States and several others, the 21-day hotel quarantine will be kept in place.

Residents stranded in Britain will be allowed to return home by mid-April, but will have to undergo 21 days of hotel quarantine.



The Return2HK’ program will be extended by allowing Hong Kong residents to skip quarantine if they return via air travel from anywhere in mainland China compared with just Guangdong and Macau previously

Workers in “scheduled premises” like restaurants and construction sites, as well as school teachers, can get exemption from regular Covid-19 tests if they get if vaccinated.

Those who receive two doses of the vaccine, may, after an extra 14 days, be allowed to visit patients in public hospitals and care homes, subject to the further requirement of testing negative in a rapid test.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

Chan urged Hongkongers to get vaccinated so the city can receive herd immunity and resume travel and other social activities soon.

She also said the easing of restrictions was not a “relaxation”, which experts have warned the government against, despite several days of single-digit infections

“We are not relaxing, we are simply adjusting,” she said, adding that an assessment was made of the risk, and the need to promote people’s physical and mental well-being.

 “So we are doing minor adjustments on some of the activities that we have very carefully assessed the risk, and this is also something that is related to people's mental health, so we are not only looking at physical health,” she said.

In a stark reminder of the risk of premature relaxation, Monday ended two days of zero local infections in Hong Kong.

A young student at Baptist University tested positive on Sunday, after developing sore throat. During the incubation period, he attended classes, taught football to a group of primary school students, and did one-on-one tutoring, all intense activities that led to about 50 people being sent to quarantine.


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