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Global Times

HK lifts some COVID-19 restrictions after no new local infections reported following city-wide testing

Global Times

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/15 22:43:52

Hong Kong's health authority said Tuesday there had not been a domestically-transmitted coronavirus infection in the previous 24 hours for the first time since early July, and numerous restrictions would end.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region announced it will allow bars, karaoke bars, night clubs, theme parks and swimming pools to reopen on Friday. Restaurants will be allowed to remain open until midnight but public gatherings of more than four people remain restricted.

Hong Kong's public services in various government departments resumed on Tuesday, suggesting the recent wave of infections has been basically tamed.

The HK government's universal community COVID-19 testing program ended Monday night. It costs HK $530 million ($68.4 million) to administer.

HKSAR authorities said on Tuesday that over 1.78 million Hong Kong residents had been tested and 42 infections were detected.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that the mass community testing brought many benefits to overall epidemic control measures in the city, allowing the government to prepare the next steps, such as relaxing social distance requirements, or negotiating customs clearance with the Chinese mainland and Macao.

A team of 500 mainland medical workers who helped administer the tests are set to return home on Wednesday, the government said.

To complete nearly 1.8 million tests within a short period of time was an arduous task, which shows the care and support of the central government and the mainland people, Lam said in the farewell ceremony for the medical workers on Tuesday afternoon.

"We know the Central government and mainland people care about Hong Kong," said Lam. She said she hopes the mainland medical workers will return to visit Hong Kong after the epidemic.

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