Bars and pubs to be allowed to open from 19th May, dine-in services extended till 12am, beaches and swimming pools to reopen from 5th May (Updated: 10.30am)

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3rd May 2022 – (Hong Kong) The Chief Executive held a press conference before the Executive Council meeting this morning.

The government stated that various indicators showed that the epidemic continued to ease, and the second phase of social distancing measures will be implemented on 19th May, including the reopening of bars, pubs, karaoke lounges, public bathhouses, mahjong parlours and other scheduled premises that are currently suspended. Bars and pubs will be allowed to open till 2am and 4 persons per table will be allowed from 19th May onwards. Dine-in services for catering premises will be extended to 12am and 8 diners per table will be allowed from this Thursday (5th May) onwards. In addition, from this Thursday (5th) onwards, water sports centres, public beaches and swimming pools will be allowed to reopen, and masks will not be required during outdoor exercise and in country parks. The banquet number limit has been raised from 20 to 100 people, and the maximum capacity of cinemas will be increased from 50% to 85%. Food and drinks will be allowed.

In addition, from this Thursday (5th May) onwards, water sports centres, public beaches and swimming pools will be allowed to reopen, and masks will not be required during outdoor exercise and in country parks. Lam stressed that Vaccine Pass will still be required to enter all scheduled premises.

Lam pointed out that with the support of the central government, the efforts of the government and the cooperation of the society, citizens can resume normal work according to the original timetable and roadmap, including resumption of classes and relaxation of social distancing measures. She pointed out that there was an increase in traffic during the Easter and Labor Day holidays, and there was fear of a rebound in the epidemic, but fortunately the surge in COVID-19 cases did not happen. The number of daily positive cases dropped to less than 300 yesterday, the viral load of sewage samples decreased, the number of positive cases for during lockdown testings also reduced and the immediate effective reproduction rate also decreased.

Carrie Lam also pointed out that the Hospital Authority will change the community treatment centre in AsiaWord-Expo to standby state starting tomorrow, and the mainland medical team to assist Hong Kong will gradually return to the mainland. She expressed her gratitude to them and a farewell event will be held for the last batch of those leaving Hong Kong this Saturday.

Meanwhile, the chief executive election will be held this Sunday. The sold candidate, John Lee, said earlier that it took more than 20 years for the government to improve land and housing policies in the past. Carrie Lam was asked about his statement but she said that she would not give a specific answer. There are still two months until the end of her five-year term. She hopes to be given the opportunity to summarise her work during the remaining term of her office later.

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