1. Government begins to relax social distancing measures in gradual and orderly manner

Thanks to the efforts of the whole community in Hong Kong, the epidemic situation has been gradually improving in the past month. With the epidemic situation under control, the Government will relax social distancing measures in a gradual and orderly manner in accordance with the latest developments of the epidemic situation and risk assessments.

Catering business: Catering premises fall under Category A / Category B according to the infection control measures adopted by the persons responsible for carrying on the catering business. The requirements and restrictions are different.

Scheduled premises: Some of the scheduled premises under Cap. 599F can be open when the relevant requirements and restrictions are fulfilled.

Group gathering: Unless exempted, the prohibition on group gatherings of more than two persons in public places will continue. The requirement is also applicable to group gatherings in catering business and scheduled premises regulated under Cap. 599F in which the relevant requirements or restrictions are not complied with. If there is no major change to the epidemic situation, the Government will seek the approval from the Executive Council shortly to relax the relevant group gathering restriction from two persons to four persons.

Mask-wearing requirement: The mandatory mask-wearing requirement under Cap. 599I will continue.

For details, please refer to the press release and annexes:

2. Government enhances testing capabilities

In the wake of recent clusters of infection or higher risk of transmission at different premises, the Government provides free testing services at community testing centres with online bookings to various target groups such as foreign domestic helpers, construction site workers, and security and guarding personnel. To tie in with the reopening or relaxation of restrictions of restaurants and multiple scheduled premises, schools, etc, the Government also provides free testing services with online bookings to these target groups at community testing centres, and they may also continue to undergo testing via the above free testing means. Those with symptoms shall seek medical advice promptly and undergo testing as instructed by medical professionals, and they ought not visit the community testing centres.

The Government reiterates that, for those scheduled premises which will reopen on the seventh day of Lunar New Year and those restaurants which will resume dine-in dinner service on the same date, the operators are only required to arrange their staff to undergo the first testing from February 11 to 24, and arrange another test for them every 14 days. In other words, the operators can arrange the staff to receive the test on any dates within the first 14-day period, and there is no need to rush for test completion by February 18. For those who were unable to make a booking for testing at the community testing centres, they may go to the aforesaid locations to obtain deep throat saliva specimen collection packs for free testing. In general, the test result is available through SMS within 24 to 48 hours from the time of returning the specimen.

For details, please refer to: