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August 5, 2021

Hong Kong to impose dining curfew, close gyms and salons as Covid-19 cases continue to rise

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus wait outside a bakery in Hong Kong on Monday, Nov. 30. AP Photo/Kin Cheung

Hong Kong is imposing tougher anti-epidemic measures as new cases continue to rise as part of the city’s so-called fourth wave.

The government will announce a 6 p.m. dining curfew for restaurants and will close gyms, sports centers, and beauty salons, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said in a regular news briefing Tuesday.

Lam said people are not sticking to social distancing measures and the new restrictions are to “curb the number of people on the streets and reduce the flow of people.”

Covid-19 infections have been rising in Hong Kong since the end of November, and the city is now reporting dozens of new cases each day. Many of those are linked to a dance club cluster, which now includes more than 650 cases. In total, Hong Kong has reported more than 6,900 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, including 112 deaths.

Lam said Tuesday that Hong Kong’s new cases are at “a record high” and nearing the peak of the last wave in July. One-third of the total number of recent cases are from untraceable sources, Lam said.

The exact restrictions will be announced later, Lam said, as she appealed to members of the public to suspend all social events, parties and meal gatherings. 

“We do need your full cooperation. The Hong Kong SAR government will do our best to fight the epidemic, we all need to work together and do our best. If we haven’t done our best today, we will continue to make an extra effort. However, we will not be able to succeed without your cooperation,” Lam said.