Hong Kong set to relax Covid-19 restrictions despite confirming ‘world’s 1st’ re-infection case

The city authorities will ease some lockdown measures, allowing locals to not wear masks at country parks, reopening cinemas and beauty parlors, and enabling restaurants to stay open longer than they do now.

The relaxation will take effect on August 28, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee has announced on Tuesday. Some social distancing rules will thus be removed or eased.

Residents will be allowed to remove masks while exercising outdoors or visiting country parks – a requirement still in place throughout the autonomous region. Restaurants and cafes will also be able to extend dine-in services from 6pm to 9pm. Likewise, the authorities vowed to reopen cinemas and beauty parlors.  

Recently, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the launch of a voluntary Covid-19 testing program, the results of which would be crucial for making decisions on easing or tightening social distancing guidelines. “The purpose of launching the universal community testing is to identify as early as possible any silent transmitters in the society,” Lam told the public.

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An exhibition hall that has been converted into a facility to treat coronavirus patients is pictured in Hong Kong, China August 1, 2020.
Double corona? Hong Kong researchers report 1st documented case of Covid-19 re-infection

Hong Kong, where the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases stands at 4,691 with a death toll of 77, has recently registered what researchers claim is the world’s first case of Covid-19 re-infection. The University of Hong Kong (HKU) said this week that a 33-year-old man fell sick again four and a half months after he first caught the contagion.

The finding led researchers to believe that herd immunity is unable to eliminate the epidemic, although subsequent infections could be milder than the first, HKU said. 

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