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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

Feb sees 0.3% rise in inflation

Overall consumer prices in February rose 0.3% year-on-year, smaller than the 1.9% increase in January, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   Netting out the effects of all the Government's one-off relief measures, the year-on-year rate of change in February’s underlying inflation rate was -0.1%, smaller than January’s -0.5%.   The department said this was mainly due to the increases in the costs for meals bought away from home and household services charges.   February saw year-on-year price drops for clothing and footwear, transport, durable goods, alcoholic drinks and tobacco, housing and miscellaneous goods.   Prices for electricity, gas and water, food, miscellaneous services as well as meals bought away from home went up.   Taking the first two months of the year together to neutralise the distortions caused by the timing of the Lunar New Year, underlying consumer prices registered a small year-on-year decline of 0.3%.   The Government explained the decline mainly reflected the narrowed increase in food prices and the enlarged fall in private housing rentals.   Meanwhile, price pressures on other major CPI components remained very mild.
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