Hong Kong residents are now expected to wear masks when outdoors and will not be allowed to dine in at restaurants for a week starting Wednesday, following the third wave of COVID-19 infections in the city.
Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung in a press conference on Monday (27 July) said that the current COVID-19 situation in Hong Kong is “remarkably severe”.
“We have many untraceable cases and it’s difficult to eliminate the hidden transmission chain in a short period of time. We must stay alert,” he said, noting that the number of confirmed cases in the city have continued to “surge rapidly” in the past week.
“Considering the recent developments, with cases not wearing masks and the risk of social activities, we must immediately tighten social-distancing measures,” said Cheung, while urging the public “to stay at home as much as possible”.
Barring exceptions such as children under the age of two or those with medical conditions that make prolonged mask-wearing difficult, those found guilty of violating the new regulations will be subject to a maximum fine of HK$5,000.
Other new restrictions include limiting public gatherings to only two people at a time.
Sports complexes or facilities and swimming pools will also be closed throughout the period.
As of Monday morning, Hong Kong recorded 2,633 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 128 new cases on Sunday alone.
The number of cases on Sunday was the third consecutive day the city had recorded triple-digit infection figures.