News Alerts

10 Jul 2020 | 02:35 PM UTC

Hong Kong: Schools to close on July 13 amid new COVID-19 outbreak /update 31

Hong Kong, SAR China News Alert

A spike in COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong prompts school to close on July 13; abide by government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 7/10/2020, 12:00 AM until 7/24/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Hong_Kong). COUNTRY/REGION Hong Kong

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Authorities in Hong Kong have announced the closure of schools, which will now begin their summer holidays on Monday, July 13, following a recent spike in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in recent weeks. All kindergartens, primary, and secondary schools are included in the closure. However, some will be permitted to continue with important examinations that are due to be held next week, as long as strict social distancing measures are practiced. The decision comes amid a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Kong Kong, with at least 177 new cases being reported in the past week.

A ban on gatherings of more than 50 people in Hong Kong will remain in place until Tuesday, July 14. The restriction, which was eased on June 15 from an eight-person limit for public gatherings, had been under review, but authorities have been hesitant to lift the ban.

The move came as the Hong Kong government announced the further easing of several other COVID-19-related social distancing measures. Seating capacity at bars, restaurants, cinemas, and entertainment venues, which had been limited to 50 percent since reopening at the beginning of June, but was expanded to 80 percent from Friday, July 3.

A mandatory 14-day quarantine period remains in place for travelers arriving from mainland China, Macau, and Taiwan until at least Thursday, July 16, while quarantine requirements for those arriving from all other destinations will remain in place until September 18.

As of Friday, July 10, health authorities have confirmed 1365 COVID-19 cases and seven associated deaths in Hong Kong. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.


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