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Public gatherings limited to two people in Hong Kong

Public gatherings limited to two people in Hong Kong
© Getty Images

Hong Kong will restrict public gatherings to a maximum of two people as part of its latest attempts to stem the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg reported.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam said at a Monday briefing that the two-person limitation will apply to athletic venues and restaurant tables. Civil servants will also return to working from home, Lam said, and restaurant dine-in service will end at 10 p.m.

Civil servants working from home previously led to the delay of services such as extensions of work visas. Civil service jobs comprise about 4.6 percent of the city’s workers, or more than 177,000 people.

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The new restrictions are set to last two weeks after taking effect Wednesday.

Lam said venues like swimming pools and mahjong parlors will close. The city had planned an air travel bubble with Singapore but the new infections have delayed those plans, according to the publication.

Hong Kong imposed similar measures in July during its worst virus outbreak to date. The city reported 76 new cases of the virus Monday. Most were locally-transmitted cases, while officials were unable to trace nine. Officials previously announced it would close schools as a mitigation measure, according to Bloomberg.

Hong Kong Health Secretary Sophia Chan also announced last week that the city would close nightclubs and bars, as well as entertainment venues like karaoke cafes, to stem the outbreak.

“There are multiple transmission chains in the community. We need to tighten all social-distancing measures, because the pandemic is severe," she said in a news conference.

Hong Kong has seen just over 6,400 cases and 109 deaths from the virus.