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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

Prosecutions free from interference

The Department of Justice (DoJ) today stressed that no one should interfere with prosecutorial decisions which are carried out strictly in accordance with the law.   The DoJ made the statement in response to recent comments calling for charges to be dropped against 47 people who were prosecuted under Article 22 of the National Security Law.   It reiterated that independent prosecutorial decisions are based on an objective assessment of all admissible evidence, applicable laws and the Prosecution Code, without political considerations.   Article 63 of the Basic Law stipulates that prosecutions in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region are made by the DoJ, free from any interference. Prosecutions would only be commenced if there is sufficient admissible evidence to support a reasonable prospect of conviction.   The DoJ said that any open demand for immediate release of the defendants in the course of legal proceedings is considered a disrespect of Hong Kong's judicial and legal systems, adding that it also undermines the rule of law and is seen as an attempt to meddle in Hong Kong's affairs which are China's internal affairs.   The National Security Law expressly provides that human rights, such as freedom of speech and assembly, be protected, and legal principles including presumption of innocence be respected and observed, the DoJ noted.   It also pointed out that it is inappropriate to comment further as the case's legal proceedings are still ongoing.
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