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27 Jul 2020 | 05:26 PM UTC

Hong Kong: Authorities announce increased COVID-19 restrictions from July 29 /update 36

Hong Kong, SAR China News Alert

Authorities announce increased COVID-19 restrictions from July 29; continue to follow official directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 7/27/2020, 12:00 AM until 8/31/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Hong_Kong). COUNTRY/REGION Hong Kong

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Event

Authorities announced on Monday, July 27, that Hong Kong residents will no longer be allowed to gather in groups of more than two people, and that dining in restaurants will be banned for one week from Wednesday, July 29. The new measures have been introduced due to a spike in locally transmitted coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. On Monday, 145 new COVID-19 cases were reported, 142 of which were locally transmitted infections.

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. From July 29, face masks will also be compulsory in all outdoor public spaces. Those found to be violating the measure may face 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. 

Office workers and nonessential civil servants have been advised to work from home, and amusement parks, gyms, bars, and other venues where social distancing is challenging remain closed .

As of July 27, there have been 2778 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hong Kong, and 20 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). 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. 

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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