Covid rules eased this Thursday, but 4-person gathering ban remains

Monday, June 21, 2021

Some social distancing measures including increasing capacity at restaurants and bars would be eased from June 24 for vaccinated residents, but the 4-person gathering ban will remain in place, the government announced today.

Starting Thursday, restaurants can run at full capacity given all their staff were fully vaccinated, along with two-thirds of their customers having received at least one jab.

Those restaurants will also be able to hold banquets for up to 180 guests.

For category C restaurants, in which staff members must at least received one vaccine dose with customers using the “Leave Home Safe” contact-tracing app, these restaurants will be allowed to operate at 75 percent capacity.

While the Covid rules for restaurants falling in categories A and B remain unchanged.

For bars and clubs, the number of people that can be seated at each table will rise from two to four, as long as all staff members and customers have had at least one jab.

Karaoke and party room establishments will be able to house up to eight people per room under the new set of rules.

Religious gatherings, weddings and business meetings will also be allowed to be held at a venue's full capacity, as long as two-thirds of the participants are vaccinated.

Meanwhile, swimming pools in the city can house more swimmers at half capacity, the group size of local tours will also go up to accommodate no more than 100 people.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said she hoped the new rules will encourage more people to get vaccinated.

“If the businesses and participants are willing to take the vaccine, more relaxations will come. I hope it’s a good enough incentive to appeal and encourage people to take the vaccine,” she said.

Lam dismissed allegations that the government is trying to curb protests by keeping the ban on public gatherings of more than four people.

She said officials had taken into consideration infection risks, saying it is easier to implement social distancing rules in a confined space.