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Masks to be mandatory in all public indoor places

2020-07-22 HKT 14:49
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  • Masks to be mandatory in all public indoor places
Face masks will be made mandatory at all indoor public places – including malls and building lobbies – starting from Thursday as the government steps up measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus in Hong Kong.

The new order will be in place for two weeks. Mask-wearing has been mandatory already on public transport since last week.

Health Secretary Sophia Chan said all covered places such as shops and supermarkets, as well as transport terminals and interchange stops, will be covered under the new regulation.

The health secretary said there have been more than 700 coronavirus infections in the past two weeks, more than 80 percent of which are local cases.

She noted many patients were infected via unknown sources, showing there is continuous, silent transmission of the virus in the community.

Chan again appealed to the public to stay at home as much as possible, stop all unnecessary gatherings, and comply with the mask-wearing rules strictly.

She said authorities would not rule out introducing more stringent measures if the situation worsens.

“We do not rule out any further stringent measures, which basically would focus on social distancing,” she said. “Whether there will be a lockdown of course depends on the entire situation.”

“Looking at some of the international practices, we also have to balance the needs and daily necessities of the people in Hong Kong like food, medical attention and other essential services.”

She warned it’s the most critical period for Hong Kong and that it’s very likely that there will be large-scale community outbreaks.

Asked if the Legco elections scheduled for September 6 will have to be postponed, she said there is no information on this and there is no change in the timetable.