A week after scrapping its amber code restrictions, the former is ditching broader capacity limits and testing requirements for bar-goers.
With Hong Kong logging around 15,000 confirmed coronavirus cases per day over the last two weeks, health authorities in the city have brought forward the latest relaxation of social distancing measures, citing “socio-economic needs” and the “plateauing” infection numbers. Starting tomorrow (December 22), patrons of bars and nightclubs will no longer be required to take a rapid antigen test before entry. The same applies to passengers embarking on “cruises to nowhere,” local tour groups, and anyone joining a banquet.
All capacity restrictions on eateries, entertainment spots, cinemas, museums, and performance venues will be lifted; gyms, sports centers, and swimming pools are also being given the green light to operate at full capacity, up from the previous 85 percent. Limits on the headcount for banquets, which have been capped at 240 people, will be abolished. But the maximum number of diners seated at each table remains at 12 in restaurants, and six at bars and pubs. From Thursday, eating and drinking will be allowed outdoors at wedding and event venues, sporting facilities, as well as “places of public entertainment” such as theme parks. No changes to Hong Kong’s outdoor or indoor mask mandate have been announced.
Over in neighboring Macau, mandatory hotel quarantine has just been scrapped, but international arrivals still need to undergo five days of home isolation. Those planning to enter Mainland China must wait another three days in the territory. A PCR test is required within 72 hours of boarding a Macau-bound plane or ship, compared to the previous rule to be tested no more than 48 hours before departure. Travelers will then have to take an on-arrival PCR test and report a negative result from five daily RATs before their Macau Health Code turns green and home quarantine ends.