Cover All you need to know about the hong kong social distancing rules (Photo: Getty Images)

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

As the epidemic situation in Hong Kong has become more stable and the vaccination rate is increasing steadily, the government announced on May 3 that social distancing rules will be further eased. According to chief executive Carrie Lam, unless there is a sudden surge in Covid-19 cases, the three-stage relaxation plan, which was originally announced on March 21, 2022, will go ahead as planned.

Following the first stage of relaxation that took effect on April 21, 2022, the second phase will allow venues including beaches, pools and bars to reopen starting from May 5, 2022. Restaurants will also be allowed to open until midnight at a later date, with the number of diners allowed per table raised to eight from four. Masks will no longer be mandatory during outdoor exercise too. 

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 

Read more: How to Support the Charities Helping Hong Kong’s Most Vulnerable During the Pandemic


This article was originally published on July 14, 2020 and was updated on April 4, 2022.

Group gatherings

Update: On May 3, 2022, the government announced that restrictions on social gatherings will continue to be relaxed further starting from May 5. The group gathering limit will be raised to eight people, from the current four. Individuals are no longer required to wear masks at country parks or while exercising outdoors.


Group gatherings in public places are currently capped at four, effective from April 21, 2022. Wearing a face mask is also still mandatory in public settings, this includes on public transport, in shops and supermarkets and in building lobbies. If you're looking to exercise outdoors––be it going for a run or a hike––and in country parks,  wearing a mask is also compulsory.

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 HK$25,000. The government has also stated that individuals who participate in a prohibited group gathering may be fined HK$5,000, an increase from the previous HK$2,000.

Don't miss: How Hong Kong’s Most Influential Are Helping in the Fight Against Covid-19

Bars and Restaurants

Update: Starting from May 3, 2022, dine-in services will be available until 12am, with up to eight people allowed per table. Bars and pubs will be reopened on May 19, 2022.


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. The restrictions had been eased on April 21, with dine-in services resumed again. Table capacity was increased from two to four people per restaurant table. 

Bars and nightclubs are closed. Announced on January 5, these measures come in on January 7, 2022 and are in place until further notice.

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.

From February 24 onwards, diners must have had at least one Covid-19 vaccination to be able to dine-in at any premises. This rule will also be extended to include wet markets, supermarkets, shopping malls, schools and more, effectively cutting off much of the city to unvaccinated residents. 

Read more: Dinner Ban to End, Bars to Reopen From April 21 as Government Signals Shift in Restrictive Covid-19 Policies

Gyms

Update: LCSD sports facilities, including swimming pools have resumed operation starting from April 21, 2022. Private gyms were allowed to reopen as well.


LCSD sports facilities, including swimming pools, will temporarily close from January 7, 2022 until further notice. Private gyms will also have to close for this period. 

See also: 7 Fitness Video Games To Try For A Fun At Home Workout

Beaches

Update: Beaches will reopen starting from May 5, 2022.


Beaches managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) are now currently closed.

Official campsites and barbecue areas also remain closed.

See also: The Most Beautiful Beaches To Visit In Hong Kong

Beauty parlours and hair salons

Update: Beauty salons were allowed to reopen on April 21, 2022.


Beauty salons and massage parlours have been closed from January 7, 2022 until further notice. On March 8, the government announced that hair salons and barbershops will be allowed to open on March 10 since they were forced to close on February 10. People who enter or are present at the salons must have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose.

See also: 6 At Home Beauty Services To Try In Hong Kong

Hotels, pools and spas

Update: Spas were allowed to reopen on April 21, 2022. Swimming pools will resume operation on May 5, 2022.


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). 

See also: The Best Hong Kong Airbnb Properties for a Luxe Staycation Out of the City

Weddings

Although wedding ceremonies are able to go ahead in Hong Kong, the only attendees permitted to attend are the couple to be wed, plus two witnesses.

Along with capping the number of people permitted to attend wedding celebrations, no food or drinks are able to be served at wedding ceremonies. For those celebrating at restaurants or catering premises, social distancing rules of four people per table still apply.

Other closures

Update: All the Leisure and Cultural Services Department premises, including performing arts venues, museums, cinemas were allowed to reopen on April 21, 2022. Disneyland was reopened on the same date as well. Ocean Park will resume operation on May 14, 2022.

Other entertainment venues, including party rooms, karaoke lounges, mahjong parlours and cruises are also set to reopen on May 19, 2022.


Ocean Park and Disneyland are set to close from January 7, 2022 until further notice.

All LCSD venues including museums plus cinemas and all other performance venues will temporarily close from January 7, 2022 until further notice. 

Mahjong and karaoke venues were also closed on January 7, 2022 until further notice.

Religious premises will close from February 10, 2022 until further notice. 

See also: Work From Home: Productivity Tips for Remote Working

Travel

Update: Flight bans on nine countries—the UK, the USA, Australia, Canada, France, India, the Philippines, Pakistan, and Nepal was lifted on April 1.

Hotel quarantine was cut from 14 to 7 days, where travellers must be fully vaccinated and test negative on the fifth day via a PCR test, and via Rapid Antigen Tests on the sixth and seventh day of their stay. They will be allowed to leave the hotel after completing the quarantine for 7 days.

Starting from May 1, 2022, non-Hong Kong residents will be permitted to enter Hong Kong from overseas, for the first time in more than two years. 


Travel restrictions are still in place, with only HKID cardholders able to enter Hong Kong, and all arrivals having to quarantine in a hotel for 14 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 came into effect for direct and transit passengers from January 8 and has now been extended until March 4, 2022, with Nepal added to the flight ban list. 

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