Hong Kong Social Distancing Rules Extended Through Chinese New Year
We're offering some clarity on the current Covid-19 social distancing rules in Hong Kong, breaking down exactly what you can and can't do in the city
Since the initial outbreak of Covid-19, Hong Kong has dealt with multiple waves of infections, with the city implementing a range of social distancing measures to reduce the spread of the virus. The most recent of which––the fifth wave––saw various restrictions that had previously been eased put back in place in January 2022. On January 14, 2022 the Hong Kong government confirmed that social distancing regulations would be extended for two weeks, meaning that the ban on dining in after 6pm will affect Chinese New Year diners.
After a range of social distancing measures were eased for much of 2021, early 2022 has seen the emergence of the first locally transmitted Covid-19 infections in months. This has led to the government announcing new social distancing restrictions for Hong Kong. As of January 5, 2022, 69.5% of Hong Kong residents have received two Covid vaccinations, with the booster programme open to book for all eligible adults.
Continue reading to stay up to date on exactly what you can do in Hong Kong.
Read in Traditional Chinese here: 香港禁晚市堂食、英美等8國禁飛 一文看清擴大疫苗氣泡涵蓋範圍
This article was originally published on July 14, 2020 and was updated on January 6, 2021.
Group gatherings in public places are currently capped at four.
Wearing a face mask is also still mandatory in public settings, this includes on public transport, in shops and supermarkets and in building lobbies. However, if you're looking to exercise outdoors––be it going for a run or a hike––and in country parks, you are not required to wear a mask during.
The maximum penalty for those gathering in public spaces or for "any person who participates in a prohibited group gathering; organises a prohibited group gathering; owns, controls or operates the place of the gathering; and knowingly allows the gathering" remains at $25,000. The government has also stated that individuals who participate in a prohibited group gathering may be fined $5,000, an increase from the previous $2,000.
See also: 10 Stylish Face Masks To Wear Now
Following the emergence of a number of locally transmitted infections, on January 5, 2022, it was announced that restaurants will close from 6pm for dine-in service, a blow for Hong Kong's restaurant industry. These new restrictions will take effect on January 7, 2022, and will be in place until February 3, 2022 at least. Category C and D premises will be able to take tables of 4 and 6 respectively, but will still need to close after 6pm for dine-in. Events including the Lunar New Year Fair and the flower market have also been cancelled.
Guests dining out must use the LeaveHomeSafe app, fill out health declaration forms, wear masks when ordering or picking up food and have their temperature taken before entering any restaurant.
While restaurants are closed, support the industry by ordering takeaway or online alcohol delivery from these Hong Kong bars and liquor stores.
A number of changes will soon be made to dining regulations in 2022. From February 24 onwards, diners must have had at least one Covid-19 vaccination to be able to dine-in at any premises.
Bars and nightclubs are closed due to the new coronavirus cases. Announced on January 5, these measures come in on January 7, 2022 and are in place until at least February 3, 2022.
LCSD sports facilities, including swimming pools, will temporarily close from January 7, 2022 until at least February 3, 2022. Private gyms will also have to close for this period.
Hair salons and barbershops have been permitted to remain open, with extra restrictions put in place, with the reopening expected to follow the same procedures. Expect to have your temperature taken, fill out a health declaration form and wear a mask for the duration. A distance of 1.5m will also have to be maintained between all clients and all staff will have to wear both masks and face shields. From February 24, patrons must have received 1 dose of the vaccine.
Beauty salons and massage parlours are closed from January 7, 2022 until at least February 3, 2022.
Hotels, pools and spas
If you have a staycation booked, you don’t need to rush to cancel as hotels are permitted to remain open and will be following strict health and safety procedures.
The number of people permitted in a hotel room is capped at four (unless in a group from the same family).
Although wedding ceremonies are able to go ahead in Hong Kong, gatherings are currently limited.
Along with capping the number of people permitted to gather for wedding celebrations, no food or drinks are able to be served at wedding ceremonies. For those celebrating at restaurants of catering premises, social distancing rules of six people per table still apply.
Ocean Park and Disneyland are set to close from January 7, 2022 until at least February 3, 2022.
All LCSD venues including museums plus cinemas and all other performance venues will temporarily close from January 7, 2022 until at least February 3, 2022.
Mahjong and karaoke venues were also closed on January 7, 2022 until at least February 3, 2022.
Travel restrictions are still in place, with only HKID card holders able to enter Hong Kong, and all arrivals having to quarantine in a hotel for 21 days.
After a number of airline bans, it was announced on January 5, 2022 that flights from eight countries––the UK, the USA, Australia, Canada, France, India, the Philippines and Pakistan––will be totally banned for two weeks. This comes into effect for direct and transit passengers from January 8 until and has now been extended until February 3, 2022.