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People's Daily Online

Hong Kong further loosens social distancing measures

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 16:33, September 02, 2020

HONG KONG, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong announced Wednesday further relaxation of social distancing measures so that lives of residents can gradually return to normal as daily new COVID-19 infections remained on a losing streak.

Effective for seven days since Friday, a dine-in ban for restaurants will be loosened to 10 p.m., while diners currently are prohibited from eating in after 9 p.m., Sophia Chan, Secretary for Food and Health of the government of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Gyms, massage parlors, and some indoor and outdoor stadiums can also reopen on condition of anti-disease measures, Chan said.

Hong Kong already cautiously relaxed some restrictions over social activities last week as the epidemic situation showed signs of easing. New cases stood at nine and 12 on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, down significantly from the peak of triple-digit growth.

Despite the loosening, mandatory mask-wearing rules in public areas and a ban on group gathering over two will continue.

Chan also called on residents to actively participate in an ongoing universal community testing program aimed at screening asymptomatic patients and cutting transmissions. The government said more than 120,000 people took virus tests on Monday, the first day of the program.

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