Hong Kong extends face-to-face school closures until mid-Feb

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong on Monday extended its suspension of face-to-face school classes until mid-February, with the spread of the coronavirus in the Asian financial hub remaining “critical”.

Schools in the Chinese territory have been mostly shut for a year, with many having switched to online learning and lessons by conference call.

Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung said all kindergartens and schools would suspend face-to-face teaching until after the Lunar Year Holiday which ends on Feb. 15.

Primary and secondary schools can allow some students to return to take exams under strict conditions.

Hong Kong saw a resurgence in the number of cases at the end of November, prompting curbs including shutting down dining in restaurants after 6 p.m and closing gyms and beauty salons.

These measures will remain in place for a further two weeks.

Densely populated Hong Kong has recorded around 9,000 coronavirus cases and 150 deaths.

Reporting by Farah Master; Editing by Nick Macfie