Hong Kong's latest social rules

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Additionally, the testing requirements applicable to staff of catering premises are extended to staff of scheduled premises, including commercial bathhouse, place of public entertainment, swimming pool, and market.

Given the gradual deterioration in the epidemic situation recently, the HKSAR government announced the tightening of certain social distancing measures on 26 August 2022 (Friday), which require banquet goers to present a negative rapid antigen test (RAT) result before entering the catering premises.

Starting at 00.00am on 28 August 2022 (Sunday), customers participating in a banquet activity are required to undergo a rapid antigen test (RAT) for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) conducted within the preceding 24 hours before entering the catering premises.

The government explains that "banquet" refers to a situation with customers exceeding the number allowed to be seated together at one table (i.e. exceeding eight customers under the existing requirement), and dining together at the catering premises with a common purpose. For illustration, the requirements pertaining to undergoing the RAT does not apply to eight customers dining together at two tables, but applies to nine customers dining together at two tables.

The relevant customers need to mark on their name as well as the date and time of taking the test on their testing kit, take a photo of the testing kit, and save it in their mobile phone for checking by the premise operators, and for inspection by authorised officers upon request.

If the customer has an SMS notification (mobile phone text message) containing a negative result of a PCR test issued within the 48 hours preceding his/her entry into the catering premises, then he/she would be taken to have complied with the requirements pertaining to undergoing the RAT.

The relevant customers have to comply with the RAT requirement from 28 August 2022 (Sunday). For the operators of catering premises, there is a seven-day adaptation period until 3 September 2022.

On the other hand, the current testing requirements applicable to staff of catering premises have also been extended to staff of scheduled premises, including commercial bathhouse, place of public entertainment, swimming pool and market.

All staff, including recovered persons or staff members holding COVID-19 Vaccination Medical Exemption Certificates, must conduct RAT every three days before entering the premises.

The spokesperson for the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) reminded relevant operators, staff and patrons to observe and comply with the new requirement as well as other applicable regulations and restrictions, including the requirement on the Red Code and Amber Code under the Vaccine Pass. For details, please browse the thematic webpage launched by the FEHD.

The spokesperson also reminded that other requirements and restrictions on catering premises and bars/pubs remain in force, including:

  • All customers must not consume food or drink, and must wear a mask while away from the table,
  • The maximum number of persons per table at bars/pubs (i.e. exclusively or mainly used for the sale or supply of intoxicating liquors for consumption in the premises) is four, while the maximum number of persons per table at other catering premises is eight,
  • Live performance and dancing activity are not allowed in catering premises and bars/pubs, and
  • All staff involved in the operation of the catering premises, and patrons entering a bar/pub, club/nightclub or bar/pub zone of catering premises, must also comply with the requirements on rapid antigen test.

 "We have strengthened our publicity efforts and will continue to take stringent enforcement actions. All sectors are reminded to exercise self-discipline and co-operate to fight the virus together," added the spokesperson.


Image / HKSAR Government Press Releases

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