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Social distancing to be relaxed

(To watch the full press conference with sign language interpretation, click here.)   The Government plans to adjust the social distancing measures for restaurants based on staff and customers having been vaccinated against COVID-19 and patrons using the LeaveHomeSafe mobile application.   Chief Executive Carrie Lam made the statement during a press conference today, noting that Hong Kong was entering a new phase in its fight against the virus.   Under the “vaccine bubble”, the number of people allowed to be seated together at one table in restaurants will be increased from four to six, and their dine-in service can be extended from 10pm to midnight on the condition that all staff have been vaccinated and patrons use the LeaveHomeSafe mobile app.   Customers using the LeaveHomeSafe mobile app when entering the eatery would no longer need to fill in their personal information on a paper form.   If all the restaurant staff are fully vaccinated with both doses, plus 14 days for

2 restricted areas set

The Government today made restriction-testing declarations to require people within two specified restricted areas in Central & Western District to stay in their premises and undergo compulsory testing for COVID-19.   The first restricted area includes Towers 1 to 5, Dynasty Court, 23 Old Peak Road and the second restricted area includes Blocks A and B, Kingsfield Tower, 64-68 Pok Fu Lam Road / 73-83 Bonham Road, Fung Lam Building, 35-37 Pok Fu Lam Road, Tung Ming Court, 39 Pok Fu Lam Road, Lee Wai Building, 41-43 Pok Fu Lam Road and 63 Pok Fu Lam Road.   As confirmed cases or sewage samples positive with COVID-19 were found in these buildings, the Government believes it is necessary to issue restriction-testing declarations for both areas.   The declarations for the two restricted areas took effect from 7pm.   Temporary specimen collection stations will be set up at the restricted areas. People in the first restricted area subject to compulsory testing will need to be tested by midnight while those in the second area need to undergo testing by 2am.   They will be arranged to undergo a nucleic acid test at specimen collection stations, where staff will collect samples through combined nasal and throat swabs.   The Government will arrange door-to-door specimen collection for people with impaired mobility and seniors.   It aims to finish both exercises by 7am on March 15.   Those in the first restricted area who have undergone testing from March 10 to 14 as well as people in the second area who have been tested from March 11 to 14 and can provide the SMS notification containing the test results are not required to be tested again.   They must stay in their premises until all people have been tested and the results are mostly ascertained.   Anyone who had been present in either area for more than two hours from March 1 to 14, even if they were not present in the restricted areas at the time the declaration took effect, must undergo compulsory testing before March 16.   The Government has prepared simple food and basic cleaning tools for the residents restricted by the declarations, and the Home Affairs Department has set up an enquiry hotline 2835 1473.   The Social Welfare Department will also assist those affected.
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