Jul 14, 2020 07:12 PM

Bracing for Third Wave of Covid-19, Hong Kong Reimposes Social Distancing Rules


What’s new: Facing a third wave of Covid-19 cases, Hong Kong is reimposing social distancing rules as the city reported a surge of 48 new cases on Tuesday, 40 of which were local infections, health authorities said. The latest cases bring the total number of local infections to 222 since the easing of control measures in early July.

Starting on Wednesday, the new measures will limit public gatherings to four people from 50, banning dine-in services from 6 p.m. until 5 a.m., closing entertainment venues including Disneyland, and making the wearing of masks mandatory on public transport, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced Monday.

In order to prevent imported cases, the government will also require passengers who have traveled to “high-risk countries” in the past 14 days to produce a negative Covid-19 test result before boarding flights to Hong Kong.

The background: Hong Kong has been hit hard by a flare-up of more than 200 local infections after relaxing social distancing rules on July 6, at least 40 of which came from a single nursing home. The resurgence brought the total number of Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong to 1,570 with eight fatalities as of Tuesday.

The source of this “third wave” is currently unknown, but indicates “the existence of sustained silent transmission in the community,” and shows that “the risk of a large-scale outbreak is extremely high,” the local government said in a statement Monday.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full Caixin article in Chinese, click here.

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