Hong Kong to ban all restaurant dining, masks now mandatory outdoors after more Covid-19 cases

Bracing for the third wave.

Julia Yeo | July 27, 2020, 03:04 PM

Restaurant dining in Hong Kong will be banned from July 29, 2020, onwards, as part of the city's social distancing measures dealing with the third wave of Covid-19.

Restaurant dining banned, mask-wearing mandatory

Mandatory mask-wearing rules have also been expanded to cover all outdoor areas in public locations, with the rule previously applying only to indoor places such as shopping malls, reported SCMP.

Only those with "reasonable excuses" such as medical conditions will be exempted from compulsory mask wearing in outdoor places, with no exemptions granted for exercise.

The tightened measures were endorsed by the Hong Kong Executive Council, after medical sources revealed to SCMP that at least 100 new Covid-19 cases will be recorded on July 27, the sixth day in which the city has recorded three-digit cases.

Two more Covid-19 patients have also passed away, totalling 20 Covid-19 related deaths in Hong Kong.

The city has more than 2,600 cases as of July 27 morning.

Tightened measures introduced, but health experts question delay

At a daily press conference on July 26, other measures were also introduced by the Hong Kong government, reported SCMP.

Ships without any cargo trade via Hong Kong would no longer be permitted to change their crew in the city, from Wednesday (July 29) onwards.

Under the new measures, crew members on ships with cargo would have to stay on board while the vessels remained in Hong Kong waters.

Currently, authorities have been allowing unrestricted crew changes in local waters, including ships without cargo operations in Hong Kong.

However, health experts have questioned the Hong Kong government's "late" action, asking why some of the measures put in place only take effect days after the introduction of the measures.

"There are still another three days before the measures actually take effect," said infectious diseases expert Joseph Tsang.

"Hongkongers are now bearing the consequences of this delay."

Top image via Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images