Hong Kong eases restrictions ahead of Easter weekend

Hong Kong officials have announced the easing of lockdown restrictions as coronavirus infection numbers decline.

Hong Kong cityscape.
Hong Kong has reopened public pools and beaches and lifted the ban on religious gatherings. Picture: Jimmy Chan from Pexels

CAPE TOWN, March 30 (ANA) – Hong Kong officials announced on Monday the easing of lockdown restrictions as the coronavirus infection numbers in the city’s fourth wave decline.

According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), quarantine restrictions for people travelling from low-risk countries have also been relaxed ahead of the Easter holidays.

The city will also be reopening public pools and beaches and lifting bans on religious gatherings.

However, the four-person rule which allows groups of up to four people to gather in a public space, as well as the wearing masks, will continue to apply.

“The fourth wave has lasted for about four months and recently started to be brought under control.

“The gains are hard-won and we must not squander our hard work and effort,” Secretary for Food and Health Professor Sophia Chan Siu-chee said at a press conference.

She added that they are unable to relax all social-distancing restrictions and that bars and karaoke lounges will remain closed for another two weeks.

Meanwhile, South China Morning Post (SCMP), a Hong Kong-based publication, reported that officials are planning to relaunch a “travel bubble” with various countries, including Japan, Korea, Thailand, Singapore and Australia.

“The recent epidemic situation has improved, and we saw the seven-day average of local unlinked cases has dropped to below five, which was the figure which triggered the ‘circuit breaker’, since early March,” said Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah.

“Currently, we have the conditions to hold the discussions again and have already started the discussion with Singapore.

“We also recommend that if Hongkongers want to join the air travel bubble arrangement, they should first get vaccinated so they can protect themselves,” he said.

– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher

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