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Covid-19: Hong Kong says it will not ‘actively enforce’ ban on private gatherings of 2+ families


The Hong Kong government will not proactively enforce the ban on gatherings of more than two households, officials announced on Tuesday. The ban was one of several tough new social-distancing measures revealed by the city’s leader to combat a fifth wave of Covid-19 infections led by the highly-transmissible but less severe Omicron variant.

Gatherings of more than two households in private premises will be prohibited from Thursday, while the “vaccine pass” scheme – which has been expanded to 23 types of premises, including religious venues, hair salons, shopping malls and wet markets – will be implemented on February 24.

(From left) Head of the Communicable Disease Branch of the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health Chuang Shuk-kwan, the Director of Health Ronald Lam, Permanent Secretary for Food and Health (Health) Thomas Chan, and the Chief Manager (Integrated Clinical Services) of the Hospital Authority Larry Lee meeting the press on February 8, 2022. Photo: Peter Lee/HKFP.

When asked how the government would enforce the ban on multi-household gatherings during the daily Covid-19 press briefing, Thomas Chan, permanent secretary for food and health, said that authorities would only take action if a violation of the rules leads to an outbreak.

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