Hong Kong Extends Social Distancing Restrictions to Contain CCP Virus

By Reuters
April 8, 2020China News
Hong Kong Extends Social Distancing Restrictions to Contain CCP Virus
People sit at a food court enforcing social distancing measures, amid concerns of the COVID-19 coronavirus, at a shopping mall in Hong Kong, China, on April 4, 2020. (Dale De La Rey/AFP via Getty Images)

Hong Kong said on April 8 social-distancing restrictions including the closure of some bars and pubs, and a ban on public gatherings of more than four people would be extended until April 23 as it battles to halt the spread of CCP virus.

The government said a “drastic” more than two-fold spike in the number of cases in Hong Kong over the past two weeks to 936 meant the move was necessary. Four people in the former British colony have died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

Other restrictions that have been extended include the closure of gyms, cinemas, mahjong parlors, karaoke lounges, and nightclubs. Beauty salons and massage parlors have been added to the list.

A woman sits in a cafe where social distancing between customers has been enforced by placing white tape over unavailable tables and chairs as a precautionary measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Hong Kong, China, on March 31, 2020. (Anthony Wallace / AFP via Getty Images)

The global financial hub has also extended indefinitely a two-week closure of its airport to foreign arrivals that was due to end on Tuesday.

While schools remain closed, many people work from home, and shopping malls and restaurants are largely deserted, Hong Kong has stopped short of a full lockdown imposed in other cities such as London and New York.

The extension of restrictions comes as the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the disease is believed to have originated, started to allow people to leave on Wednesday for the first time since it was locked down 76 days ago to contain the CCP virus.

By Anne Marie Roantree

NTD staff contributed to this report. 

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