Hong Kong Extends Closure of Bars, Gyms to Quash Resurgent Virus


(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong will extend social-distancing measures to late April and started testing travelers arriving at its airport in a bid to stamp out a rebound in coronavirus cases brought on by residents returning home from more severely stricken areas.

The government will continue until April 23 to ban public gatherings of more than four people and close venues such as gyms, bars and karaoke parlors, while requiring restaurants to run at half capacity and space out tables, according to an official statement. It also added beauty parlors and massage places to the list of venues to be closed beginning April 10.

Hong Kong Extends Closure of Bars, Gyms to Quash Resurgent Virus

Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, has warned the city will continue to import cases as long as residents keep returning from abroad. One single flight arriving from London on April 5 carried five passengers later confirmed as infected. Out of 21 new cases reported Tuesday, 12 had a history of recent travel. Since March 19, all inbound travelers have been required to self-quarantine.

Starting Wednesday, all travelers arriving at the Hong Kong International Airport will be tested for the virus, according to a separate statement late Tuesday. Passengers will be able to return home or to a designated accommodation for mandatory quarantine while they await test results, but starting Thursday, those who fly in from the U.K. will only be allowed to leave the testing center close to the airport once their results come back negative.

The government has decided to close schools until at least the end of May, the South China Morning Post reported, citing unidentified people. It will announce on Wednesday a fresh stimulus of more than HK$30 billion ($3.9 billion) to support businesses affected by the pandemic, according to the newspaper.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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