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Tuesday, Sep 22, 2020

Health chief says gathering ban may be eased

Health chief says gathering ban may be eased

Health Secretary Sophia Chan says there may be further, gradual easing of a ban on gatherings of more than eight people, as long as the coronavirus situation remains stable.
The social distancing regulations are due for renewal on Thursday. Meetings of more then eight have been banned since May, after restrictions introduced in March banning gatherings of more than four were eased.

In a post on her official blog, Chan said the number of people allowed to join a gathering could be increased, or more types of gatherings could be exempted from the rules.

At present, work-related and government events are exempt from the rules, as are religious services.

Chan did not specify what conditions would be required for a complete lifting of the ban, but did insist that there were no political considerations behind it.

Government critics had questioned whether the ban on gatherings was being used for political purposes, especially after restrictions were extended to cover June 4, the date of an annual commemoration of democracy protesters killed in Beijing in 1989.

The further extension to June 18 covered several key anniversaries relating to the early days of last year's anti-extradition protests.

The SAR reported one new coronavirus case on Saturday that was linked to an earlier cluster at a public housing block in Sha Tin. It took the total to 1,109.

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