Hong Kong Social Distancing Rules For Covid-19: What You Can And Can’t Do
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.
Although measures put in place in the summer were recently eased, as of mid-November, a new cluster of cases has emerged––the fourth wave of infections in the city––with fresh restrictions put in place.
With the current set of restrictions––including the closure of bars, gyms and beauty salons, along with the ban on dine-in services at restaurants past 6pm––extended until January 27, 2021, we're helping you to stay up to date by listing exactly what you can do in Hong Kong.
This article was originally published on July 14, 2020 and was updated on January 20, 2021.
Although group gatherings had only increased in September to four people, as of December 2, this was reduced to two.
Only in places such as on public transport, hospitals, office buildings and funerals are groups of more than two allowed to gather.
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
After a rollercoaster ride with changing restrictions, restaurants were almost back to usual service in recent months, but with the fourth wave of infections, as of December 2 tables have been capped at a maximum of two people, with restaurants also having to operate at 50% capacity.
As of December 10, restrictions that we first saw in the summer came back into place, limiting dine-in services and meaning that take away services only be available past 6pm.
Guests dining out should expect to fill out heath declaration forms, wear masks when ordering or picking up food and have their temperature taken before entering any restaurant.
After being closed since mid-July, bars were able to reopen from September 18.
Restrictions were tightened on November 16, capping the maximum number of people per table to two people. Masks must also still be worn at all times, except when eating and drinking.
Due to a surge of cases, as of November 25, bars, nightclubs and party rooms sadly had to close once more, with live music performances also banned.
While bars are closed, enjoy a drink at home with these alcohol delivery services, bottled cocktails and easy-to-make two ingredient drinks.
See also: These Alcohol Delivery Services In Hong Kong Will Bring The Bar To You
Hong Kong gyms were among the businesses that have been dealt many blows during 2020, and had to once more close from December 10.
While gyms are closed, make the most of your time at home with an online workout, invest in some home equipment, or see which of your classes are being offered virtually.
See also: 7 Fitness Video Games To Try For A Fun At Home Workout
Although Hong Kong's beaches reopened on October 30, from December 10, all government beaches once more had to close to the public.
Official campsites and barbecue areas also remain closed.
See also: The Most Beautiful Beaches To Visit In Hong Kong
From December 10, salons, including nail salons, massage parlours and other beauty services have been closed.
However, hair salons and barbershops are permitted to remain open, with extra restrictions put in place. 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.
For while salons are closed, we have some tips on how to give yourself a gel manicure, create an at-home spa experience and which gadgets can help keep you looking your best.
See also: 6 At Home Beauty Services To Try In Hong Kong
Hotels, pools and spas
If you have a staycation booked, you don’t need rush to cancel as hotels are permitted to remain open and will be following strict health and safety procedures.
However, as of November 16, the number of people permitted in a hotel room is capped at four (unless in a group from the same family). Although spa services are remaining open for now, venues such as steam rooms and saunas must close.
Closed for a number of months in the summer, both hotel and public pools were able to reopen in September, but as of December 2 have had to close once more.
See also: The Best Hong Kong Airbnb Properties For A Luxe Staycation Out Of The City
Although wedding ceremonies are able to go ahead in Hong Kong, gatherings are currently limited to 20 people.
Along with capping the number or people permitted to gather for such 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.
See also: Real Weddings: Inside Rina Hiranand & Aaron Davis's Chiang Mai Celebration
The city's theme parks, Ocean Park and Hong Kong Disney are amongst those that have been affected by the new restrictions.
Forced to close for two extended periods of time, the theme parks were able to open from mid-September, but with the fourth wave looming, they must once more close as of December 2.
All LCSD museums closed temporarily from December 2, and libraries from December 10, with cinemas also closed.
See also: Work From Home: Productivity Tips For Remote Working
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 14 days.
However, the government has been in talks with several countries––including Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand and Vietnam––to potentially implement "air travel bubbles".
It was announced on October 15 that a Hong Kong Singapore Air Travel Bubble will be implemented, with both governments working together to allow travellers between the two countries to visit without having to quarantine.
The air travel bubble was to be launched on November 22, but due to a rise in cases in Hong Kong, has now been delayed.
As of December 21, all passenger flights from Britain into Hong Kong have been cancelled, including for permanent residents. There is currently no end for these new restrictions, but Cathay Pacific has cancelled all of their flights from the UK until January 25. For those that have already arrived in Hong Kong from Britain and are serving the mandatory two week quarantine, an extra week will no have to be served, though this can be spent at home and not in a designated hotel. A third Covid-19 test will also be required.
See also: 48 Hours In Singapore: The Best Restaurants, Shops & Sites