22nd November 2020 -(Hong Kong) The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong has increased rapidly in the past few days, and the epidemic has become more severe. The Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung published a blog today (22), saying that the epidemic situation in Hong Kong has deteriorated, calling on the public to strengthen self-discipline and self-protection and reduce unnecessary gathering, strictly abide by the epidemic prevention regulations and restrictions of various places.
He described that Hong Kong is in a critical moment of epidemic prevention. The Hong Kong government does not rule out the introduction of more stringent epidemic prevention measures, so that the Guangdong, Macau and Mainland authorities will be assured of Hong Kong, so as to reopening of borders between the three places will be implemented as soon as possible to restart the Hong Kong economy.
Matthew Cheung said that in order to reduce the risk of virus transmission, the SAR government has announced a series of tightening measures, including arranging certain groups of people to undergo mandatory testing. In addition, food and beverage premises, including bars and nightclubs are not allowed to conduct live performances and dance activities, and party rooms must be closed. These measures have taken effect since early this morning.
He also mentioned that the government is discussing with the hotel industry specific regulations for hotel staycation and other activities, such as limiting the number of people in each room, and will give instructions after finalising the details. He went on to say that after understanding the concerns of grassroots citizens that they have undergone compulsory testing, if they are confirmed to be admitted to the hospital, their livelihoods may be affected. Therefore, the government is considering providing a lump-sum allowance to those who are diagnosed.
Cheung pointed out that although Hong Kong’s economy has improved somewhat in the third quarter, the fourth wave of the epidemic is serious, economic prospects are still facing uncertainties, the job market is weak, and considerable pressure is expected. The unemployment rate remains high.