Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Tuesday reiterated that there is no exact science behind the government’s decision to keep in place a ban on public gatherings of more than four people under newly eased social distancing rules, while allowing up to 180 people to dine in banquets indoors.
During a press conference on Monday to announce the eased restrictions, Lam dismissed allegations that the administration was trying to curb protests by maintaining the regulations on outdoor gatherings.
She said officials had taken into consideration infection risks, and added that it was easier to implement social distancing rules in confined spaces.
Appearing before reporters ahead of Tuesday’s Executive Council meeting, Lam was again asked to explain the logic behind the measures.
“I have made it very clear, and I have admitted, that in determining social distancing measures, there is no exact science, it is a judgement based on several factors," she said.
The factors Lam listed included the epidemic situation, the nature of the activity that needs to be regulated, and society's need for that activity.
The chief executive said the authorities also have to consider risk factors associated with such activities, whether they’re manageable and whether the organiser is able to comply with social distancing requirements.
"When we have social distancing measures, even when we said we are relaxing the number of people sitting around the table, opening hours, each and every type of venue has to comply with very clear mandatory requirements imposed by the Secretary for Food and Health," Lam said.