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Arts Hong Kong Social Distancing Rules For Covid-19: What You Can And Can’t Do

Hong Kong Social Distancing Rules For Covid-19: What You Can And Can’t Do

Hong Kong Social Distancing Rules For Covid-19: What You Can And Can’t Do
All you need to know about the hong kong social distancing rules (Photo: Unsplash)
By Annie Simpson
By Annie Simpson
September 16, 2020
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 outbreak of the third wave of Covid-19 in Hong Kong in mid-July, a number social distancing rules were put in place by the government to prevent the spread of the virus.

These measures have included the closure of many businesses––including bars, sports grounds, karaoke lounges and more––along with the restrictions on dining in at restaurants and compulsory mask wearing in public places, however in recent weeks the restrictions have been beginning to ease, with measures set to relax further on September 18.

From how many can dine together at restaurants and which businesses are now allowed to open, here we list exactly what you can (and can't) do in Hong Kong in line with the latest government regulations.

See also: 6 Ways Luxury Travel Will Change After Covid-19, As Predicted By The Experts

This article was originally published on July 14, 2020 and was updated on September 16, 2020.

Group gatherings

Since July 29 group gatherings have been limited to two people, but as of September 11 this was increased to four. 
Only in places such as on public transport, hospitals, office buildings and funerals are groups of more than four 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 no longer 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

See also: 10 Stylish Face Masks To Wear Now


Restaurants in Hong Kong have had a rollercoaster ride over recent months. Since July 15 dining in restaurants has been restricted, with dine-in services banned between 6pm and 5am. And although these restrictions were tightened on July 29, to ban eating in entirely––as of July 31, restaurants will be allowed to operate dine-ins during the day between 5am and 6pm.

As of September 4, restaurants were able to offer dine-in services until 10pm, but from September 18, restaurants will be able to open until midnight. Maximum tables sizes have also been increased from two people to four––in line with the new group gathering rules. Restaurants will still have to operate at 50 per cent capacity.

Guests choosing to dine 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.

While we're these new slightly eased restrictions will hopefully help local businesses, if you're still looking to stay home for the time being, be for the short term, be sure to look at our guide on how to support Hong Kong restaurants now. We've also got plenty of recommendations on where to order takeaway and delivery from, including the best breakfasts, lunchboxes and desserts to get delivered if you are still choosing to dine at home.

See also: Your Guide To Restaurant And Bar Operations During Hong Kong’s Dine-In Ban


Bars have been shut since 15 July, but as of September 18 will finally be able to open their doors.

After almost two months of closure, bars, nightclubs, karaoke lounges and party rooms will be authorised to operate until midnight. However, groups will be limited to four people and all businesses must operate at half capacity. Masks must also be worn at all times, except when eating and drinking.

Live music venues and dance performances are currently still not permitted to open. 

See also: These Alcohol Delivery Services In Hong Kong Will Bring The Bar To You


Hong Kong gyms were closed since mid-July, but were finally be able to reopen from September 4. Although gyms are now open, whether you're attended a class or working out solo, you will have to wear a mask at all times, with groups of up to four people permitted to gather. 

If you’d rather wait until mask-wearing isn't mandatory in gyms, try one of these online workouts at home.

As of August 28, some outdoor leisure venues and facilities for non-contact sports such as tennis and golf, were also able to re-open. From September 4, further sports premises, including badminton and table tennis courts, bowling greens and tennis courts also reopened, however beaches still remain closed to the public.

See also: The Best Home Gym Equipment That Money Can Buy

Beauty parlours

Throughout even the strictest distancing rules, hair salons and barbershops have been able to remain open, while nail salons were able to open from August 28.

From September 4, massage parlours were also allowed to open. Whatever kind of treatment you are booking, 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. 

See also: 5 Tatler-Approved Foot Massages 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.

As of September 18, both hotel pools and public pools will also be able to reopen, after being shut to the public since mid-July. 

Swimming pools will be allowed to operate at half capacity, with groups capped at four people and spaced at least 1.5 metres apart.

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 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 two people per table and only half capacity still applies.

See also: Real Weddings: Inside Rina Hiranand & Aaron Davis's Chiang Mai Celebration

Other closures

After months of closure, Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park re-opened in June, but has also been closed since July 15 to align with the new social distancing measures.

From September 18, the government is allowing theme parks and exhibition centres to reopen, but they must operate at half capacity and adhere to all other social distances measures. Ocean Park has confirmed that it will be open to the public from Friday, September 18––however, Hong Kong Disneyland is yet to confirm its reopening date.

Cinemas also reopened from August 28, but are only be able to operate at half capacity, and no food or drink will be allowed to be consumed inside theatres.

Libraries and museums were also closed since July, but reopened as of September 11.


Travel restrictions are still in place, with only HKID card holders able to enter Hong Kong, and all arrivals having to quarantine for 14 days. 

However, the government are now in talks with several countries––including Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand and Vietnam––to potentially implement "travel bubbles". No timeline is currently in place for when these may come into place.

See also: How To Get Your Travel Fix Without Going Far From Home, According To Experts

So, what can we do?

Although cases are lowering in the city and restrictions are easing slightly, if you're still wanting to stay home, we have plenty of ideas on how keep yourself busy; from easing stress and anxiety with meditation, to enjoying the best feel-good movies on Netflix, organising your closet and much more.

And if you're still working from home, we also have advice on how to stay productive, tips on how to upgrade your work space and curate a beautiful home office.

See also: The Best True Crime Documentaries To Watch On Netflix


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