What will be shut down starting Jan 7

Transparent barriers enforcing social distancing measures are seen on tables at a restaurant in Hong Kong, on Tuesday, April 21, 2020.

Roy Liu | Bloomberg via Getty Images

From bars and pubs to sports premises and karaoke rooms, Hong Kong will be banning most public activities from Friday.

The Asian financial hub will be re-imposing strict Covid-19 measures for two weeks — starting Friday to Jan. 20 — as the city braces for the spread of the highly infectious omicron variant. They will be reviewed in one week.

“We are facing a very dire situation of a major community outbreak any time, and that’s why we have to take very decisive measures,” Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Wednesday when she announced a slew of stringent measures in a bid to contain the outbreak as early as possible.

The government also announced that incoming flights from eight countries will be banned from Saturday to Jan. 21. They are: Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Hong Kong recorded 38 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, and has 12,708 confirmed cases so far, according to a government website.

So far, 73.4.% of the total population has received two doses of a vaccine as of Thursday, according to government data. 

The city continues to adopt a strict, zero-Covid approach — with up to three weeks of mandatory quarantine and other testing requirements. This is in sharp contrast to many countries around the world, which have shifted to a strategy of “living with Covid” on the back of rising vaccinations rates.

The tightened social distancing rules include a ban on eating in restaurants after 6 p.m., closure of theme parks, museums and venues including fitness centers and bars.

The government is also canceling a mass cycling event, Cyclothon, and entertainment facilities such as Hong Kong Disneyland, cruise ship tours and nightclubs and karaoke venues for 14 days starting Friday.

Here’s a list of everything that will be closed from Jan. 7.

  • Restaurants must stop offering dine-in services to customers daily from 6 p.m. until 4.59 a.m. local time the following day.
  • Bars or pubs will be closed.
  • No live performance and dancing activity is allowed in catering premises. Karaoke or mahjong-tin kau activity should also be suspended.
  • Entertainment premises shut: theme parks, museums, party rooms, karaoke rooms, game centers, Chinese-style gambling establishments for mahjong and tin kau (dominoes); cinemas as well as event and performance venues will also be closed.
  • Sports and beauty activities: fitness centers, swimming pools, sports premises, as well as beauty parlors and bathhouses will be shut.
  • Tours to cease: All local tours and “cruises-to-nowhere” suspended.
  • Public hospital and nursing home visits to be halted.

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