Hong Kong to reopen pools, beaches as COVID infections ease


Posted at Mar 29 2021 05:23 PM

Hong Kong to reopen pools, beaches as COVID infections ease 1
A worker wearing protective suit arrives at the locked-down part of the Sai Ying Pun area to contain a new outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Hong Kong, China March 15, 2021. Tyrone Siu, Reuters

HONG KONG - Hong Kong will ease some coronavirus restrictions, the government said on Monday, allowing swimming pools and beaches to open and shortening the quarantine period for some international arrivals to 14 days from 21.

Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan told a press briefing that local infections had come down considerably, giving the administration room to relax some measures.

Beaches and swimming pools would reopen from April 1, while religious gatherings could resume with maximum capacity of 30 percent. Cinemas and theme parks would be able to increase capacity to 75 percent from 50 percent.

"We want to keep containing the epidemic and not undo the efforts we have made. We must continue to enforce stringent measures," she said.

Bars, karaoke parlors and bath houses would stay closed.

Quarantine for arrivals from countries considered low-medium risk, such as Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, would be reduced to 14 days from 21 currently. High-risk destinations such as Brazil, Ireland, South Africa and the United Kingdom would need 21 days, she said.

The city has seen zero locally transmitted cases for the last two days after an outbreak in early March led to a spike in cases across the city and thousands of residents forced into quarantine.

Chan said the government was also aiming to bring back Hong Kong residents who have been stranded in Britain from late April after the government banned flights from the United Kingdom to Hong Kong in December. 


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