News Alerts

14 Jul 2020 | 03:52 AM UTC

Hong Kong: Authorities tighten COVID-19 restrictions July 14 /update 32

Hong Kong, SAR China News Alert

Authorities in Hong Kong tighten COVID-19 restrictions from July 14; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 7/14/2020, 12:00 AM until 8/14/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Hong_Kong). COUNTRY/REGION Hong Kong

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Event

Hong Kong will impose more severe social distancing measures as of midnight (local time) Tuesday, July 14, due to a recent rise of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. The use of face masks will be compulsory on public transport and restaurants will no longer welcome customers as they will only be permitted to operate providing takeaway services from 18:00. Establishments that may represent a higher risk of infection, such as fitness centers and places of amusement, have been ordered to close for at least a week. The decision comes after the city recorded 52 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday, July 13, of which 41 are believed to have been locally transmitted.  

A ban on gatherings of more than 50 people in Hong Kong will remain in place. 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.

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 July 14, there have been 1522 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hong Kong, and eight associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

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.

Advice

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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