Live Music in Bars and Patient Visits to Resume on Oct. 20


Gov’t Relaxes COVID-19 Restrictions, Allows Live Music and Longer Patient Visits

The Hong Kong government will allow venues such as restaurants and bars to host live performances from next week after a two-and-a-half-year ban, local news outlet RTHK reported in an article on Oct. 13.

The return of live performances comes after months of calls from operators and performers who were unable to earn during the ban.

Officials also revealed they are considering easing the cap on the number of people allowed to gather in public. Under the resumption of live gigs from Oct. 20, performers will have to take regular COVID-19 tests, including a negative rapid antigen test (RAT) presented to the venue on the day of the performance. They are also encouraged to maintain distance from the audience and keep their masks on.

Undersecretary for Health Libby Lee said the government is considering changing the cap for public gatherings from four people to 12.

“[Limiting] the number of people gathering together is one of the useful measures to limit the spread of the disease. Once the disease is controlled, or all the immunity of the public is guaranteed, we can slowly release the limitations of the number of people in gatherings,” Lee was quoted as saying.

“But how [quickly] it should be, or what number it should be, I think it’s actually tied to the same principle of observing the effect of each relaxation of measures. When you see the relaxation of measures, the risk of infections can be controlled, and there will be space to further relax.”

In another change, people will be allowed to eat in outdoor areas of theme parks, instead of being limited to food premises within the attractions. Additionally, the Hospital Authority announced in a press release that patients with lower risk of infection, including patients under 60 and patients aged 60 and above, who have completed two doses or more, will be given one-hour visits each day with a maximum of three registered visitors from Oct. 20.

Higher risk patients, such as immunocompromised patients and patients aged 60 or above, who have not completed two doses of the COVD-19 vaccination, will be allowed two one-hour visits each week, with up to two visitors simultaneously.

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