Social distancing measures extended until August 10

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The Government announced yesterday (July 26) the extension of existing social distancing measures under the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance. The measures will be effective starting tomorrow, July 28 until August 10.

The measures were extended as the number of cases in Hong Kong is still at four-digit figures (consistently at 4000 for the past days), there have been signs of a rebound in the viral load under sewage surveillance in various districts, and transmission of different new Omicron sub-lineages has been observed in the community.  Also, the overall number of hospitalized patients is on a continuous rise along with the increase in caseload, with a marked surge in the number of serious or critical cases.

The Hong Kong Government explained that although the number of such cases in terms of proportion is relatively stable for the time being, the increase has already created pressure on the public healthcare services.  Balancing the need for containing the epidemic and allowing social and economic activities, the Government decided to maintain the existing social distancing measures for the next 14-day cycle without making any relaxation.

Relevant measures include allowing all catering premises and scheduled premises to continue to operate subject to strict compliance with the requirements including the use of the Vaccine Pass and “LeaveHomeSafe”.  Other requirements, such as mask-wearing for citizens in transport carriers and specified public places, as well as the prohibition of group gatherings in public places, also remain in force.  The Government will continue to monitor the epidemic trend and prudently consider the social distancing measures for the subsequent stage, with a view to effectively containing virus transmission without affecting the operation of society as far as practicable.