Hong Kong to limit dining, close gyms and beauty salons to curb virus

FILE PHOTO: A man pulls the door of a bar in Hong Kong's Lan Kwai Fong after bars, nightclubs and other entertainment venues were closed in response to a renewed rise in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, China November 26, 2020. REUTERS/Lam Yik

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong said on Tuesday the city would once again ban dining in restaurants after 6 p.m. (1000 GMT) and close all gyms and beauty salons, to curb a rise in coronavirus cases in the densely packed financial hub.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the government would also study additional relief measures for the industries affected by the latest restrictions that take effect on Thursday, having been enforced and lifted repeatedly this year.

“The situation is very worrying. This wave is more complicated and more severe than the last wave. The confirmed cases are widely spread out,” Lam told reporters at a weekly media briefing.

“If we don’t control it strictly, there will be bigger risks. This time we will roll out suppressing measures aimed at limiting foot traffic flow on the streets.”

The health authorities said on Tuesday those arriving in Hong Kong would be required to take an extra coronavirus test three weeks after their arrival, in addition to the tests required immediately after landing and towards the end of their mandatory two-week quarantine.

The measure was intended to curb the spread of the virus from imported cases, the authorities said.

On Monday, Hong Kong recorded 78 new cases of the novel coronavirus, taking its total to 6,976.

The authorities lask week asked most civil servants to work from home, limited gatherings to no more than two people and closed bars. But the streets were still filled with people over the weekend, Lam said.

Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Michael Perry and Jacqueline Wong