Gatherings restriction to be extended until June 4 - RTHK
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Gatherings restriction to be extended until June 4

2020-05-18 HKT 12:23
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  • People will continue to be banned from gathering in groups of more than eight until June 4. File photo: RTHK
    People will continue to be banned from gathering in groups of more than eight until June 4. File photo: RTHK
The government is to extend a law banning gatherings of more than eight people for another two weeks until June 4, sources say.

The restriction, to help stem the spread of the coronavirus, is currently due to expire on Thursday.

It’s understood that the government believes conditions are not yet suitable for Hong Kong to relax or cancel social distancing rules, in light of three recent local coronavirus infections with an unknown source.

An elderly couple and their granddaughter came down with the disease after the city saw more than three weeks of only cases linked to overseas travel.

Thousands of residents who live in the same Tsuen Wan housing blocks as the latest patients are being checked for Covid-19, but so far none of them have tested positive.

Sources say the forced closure of some businesses will also be extended for another two weeks, but authorities may relax restrictions imposed on some activities and venues, with some conditions.

Officials are expected to make an announcement on Tuesday at the earliest.

An extension until June 4 will mean the limit on gatherings will still be in place on the anniversary of the 1989 massacre of pro-democracy protesters in Beijing which is usually marked with a large-scale commemoration event in Victoria Park.

A leading microbiologist, Professor Yuen Kwok-yung, has said that it is okay to relax some restrictions, but the government should boost the number Covid-19 tests in a bid to detect any invisible transmission of the virus in the community.