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Source: Hong Kong Information Services

The new regulation that requires restaurants to limit customer capacity and venues such as cinemas to close for 14 days are necessary to strengthen social distancing in the fight against COVID-19.

Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau made the remarks today after attending a radio programme, explaining that the regulation, which will take effect from 6pm tonight, has balanced the interests of involved sectors and society as a whole.

“They are introduced for obvious reasons, because the upsurge in (infection) cases often happened in places that we try to put them under more stringent control.

“In this regard, I think we need understanding and co-operation of, not only the sectors involved, but also the community at large. Inevitably, these sectors will suffer a bit. But I think it’s a balancing situation for the companies, the sectors and also the society as a whole.”

Mr Yau emphasised that the 14-day close down will send a clear signal to the community that the best way to handle the situation is to stay home.

“In certain sectors I think they are also facing this dilemma, for instance, cinemas. Cinema (operators) have taken some very positive steps to increase social distancing within cinemas. And they have also taken some precautions.

“But on balance, I think, if (the number of) people going to cinemas has dropped to such a low rate, taking a pause and closing down the cinemas for two weeks, might help to send a very clear signal to the community that the best way to handle the situation is to stay home and to avoid unnecessary social contacts.”

He added that the Government will continue its efforts on relief measures as many sectors are still very much hard-hit and might need further help from the Government.

“We are seeing a prolonged battle (against the epidemic). Therefore, the Chief Executive has asked the whole team to give consideration to what more we can do to help our respective sectors.”

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News