Nightclubs, bars and four other types of entertainment establishment are due to reopen in Hong Kong on Thursday, under special ‘vaccine bubble’ regulations.
Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan announced the relaxation of social-distancing measures in a videoconference on Tuesday.
Bars, nightclubs and other establishments in the entertainment industry have been shut since November, a measure leading to forced closures and job losses.
In her statement Chan said that six type of premises could reopen under the new plan, including bathhouses, party rooms, karaoke and mahjong parlours, if they fulfil requirements under the new measures.
“The relaxation of socia- distancing measure that we are talking about must be a safe relaxation so that we can make everybody’s life resume to … normality,” she said.
“Any relaxation would have to be gradual and progressive. At the same time, we are … monitoring the situation,” she added.
On Wednesday the government announced the passing of an immigration bill to give the director of immigration the power to restrict people arriving and leaving the city.
Secretary for Security John Lee stressed that the amendment would not affect people’s freedom of movement, but would help deal with a backlog of asylum cases.
Legal critics say concerns about the new powers are substantiated because there is no specific wording to limit its scope.