Hong Kong to Let Fully Vaccinated Take Off Masks at The Gym
(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong will allow people to remove masks at gyms during workouts if all staff and users are fully vaccinated, relaxing a long-standing rule as frustration grows over the city’s zero-tolerance virus approach.
The government will also allow exercise classes to include a maximum of 12 people as long as the instructors are fully vaccinated and the participants wear masks, according to a statement on Tuesday.
The easing comes after Hong Kong recorded a streak of four months with no local virus transmission. While occasional infections have been detected, the former British colony is one of the only places in the world not to yet have had an outbreak of the delta variant.
While the Covid-free environment has allowed social and business activity to resume locally, the city maintains strict border curbs and containment measures, with mandatory quarantine of up to 21 days for incoming travelers and the close contacts of infected people -- regardless of vaccination status.
As regional peers like Singapore reopen their borders and pivot to treating the virus as endemic as many western economies have done, Hong Kong’s approach, which aligns it with China, is risking its status as a global financial center, with businesses and residents who desire free movement now reconsidering their presence in the city.
Hong Kong will maintain most of its other social-distancing measures for another two weeks, including limiting dining-in hours, capping public gatherings at four people, and restricting nightclub and karaoke outlet access to vaccinated people.
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