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22 Jul 2020 | 10:02 PM UTC

Hong Kong: Authorities extend mandatory wearing of face masks until August 6 /update 35

Hong Kong, SAR China News Alert

Authorities extend mandatory wearing of face masks until August 6; continue to follow official directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 7/22/2020, 12:00 AM until 8/31/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Hong_Kong). COUNTRY/REGION Hong Kong

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Authorities announced on Wednesday, July 22, that individuals will be required to wear face masks in all indoor public venues for at least a further two weeks until August 6, after a spike in locally transmitted coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases was reported. On Wednesday, 113 new COVID-19 cases were reported, 105 of which were locally transmitted infections. Face masks will be required in all indoor public places including supermarkets, building lobbies, and shopping malls, and remain mandatory on public transportation services. Individuals found to be violating the measure will be subject to a fine.

As of Wednesday, July 29, passengers traveling to Hong Kong from both the United States and Kazakhstan, will be required to present negative COVID-19 test results prior to boarding. Passengers will also be required to reserve a hotel room for at least 14 days upon their arrival. Similar entry restrictions were announced for incoming travelers from several other countries from July 25. Inbound passengers with travel history to Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, and South Africa in the past 14 days will need to present a negative COVID-19 test result taken 72 hours prior to departure. Travelers will also need to present proof of a hotel booking for 14 days to undergo their quarantine. Transit passengers are exempt from these measures.

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

The Hong Kong government announced further restrictions on Sunday, July 19, after the city reported more than 100 cases in 24 hours. Nonessential civil servants were ordered to work from home for a week, and the closure of amusement parks, gyms, bars, and other venues where social distancing is challenging was extended by a further seven days. As of July 15, restaurants may only provide takeaway services after 18:00 (local time). A ban on gatherings of more than four people in Hong Kong remains in place.

As of July 22, there have been 1655 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hong Kong, and ten associated fatalities. Further international 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). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

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

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized. 


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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