Hong Kong Law
HKSAR Government announces further easing of social distancing measures
The HKSAR Government on 16 June 2020 announced a further relaxation of the social distancing measures in Hong Kong as a result of the steady decline of COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong. Having said that, the HKSAR Government is aware that a balance needs to be struck between disease prevention and control as well as infection management on the one hand and on the other hand, allowing the public of Hong Kong to get back to the new normal daily operation of society.
Pursuant to the HKSAR Government’s latest announcement, amendments will be made to the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F) (“Business Premises Regulation”) and the Prevention and Control of Disease (Prohibition on Group Gathering) Regulation (Cap. 599G) (the “Prohibition on Group Gathering Regulations”) (collectively, the “Group Gathering Regulations”).
The Prohibition on Group Gathering
The Prohibition on Group Gathering Regulations has been further extended in a modified form. The previous extension which expired on 18 June 2020 limited group gatherings in public places to 8 people. Now, with the latest announcement by the HKSAR Government, group gatherings of persons allowed in public places will be relaxed from 8 persons to 50 persons from 19 June 2020. The latest Prohibition on Group Gathering Regulations in public places will be effective for 14 days from 19 June 2020 and expire on 02 July 2020.
General meetings and AGMs.
In relation to general meetings and AGMS, the exemption in paragraph 11 to schedule 1 of the Prohibition on Group Gathering Regulations has been retained with no amendments. For further information regarding the relevant exemption, please see Charltons’ newsletter Easing of certain social distancing measures and how they apply to shareholders’ meetings.
Catering Businesses and bars/pubs
Group gatherings in certain catering business premises are exempt from the restriction on the number of persons at group gatherings under the Prohibition on Group Gathering Regulations. In addition, for catering businesses, the limit on the number of persons seated at a table has been removed, while for bars and pubs, the limit on the number of persons seated at a table has been increased from 4 persons per table to 8 persons per table. Catering businesses, bars and pubs will still be subject to certain restrictions as set out in the Business Premises Regulation, as summarised below:
|Catering business||Bars and pubs|
|Headcount / limit on seating capacity||
There is no limit on the number of persons per table
Max. 8 persons per table.
50% seating capacity
To maintain no less than 1.5 meter distance between tables or to have effective partitioning between tables.
Yes, customers are required to wear masks except when they are consuming food or drinking.
Persons working at the premises and performers must wear masks at all times except when there is some form of partition which could serve as an effective buffer between such persons/performers and customers.
For a complete list of the exemptions under the Prohibition on Group Gathering Regulations and the Business Premises Regulation pursuant to the Prevention and Control of Diseases Ordinance, please refer to the HKSAR Government announcement.
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Charltons - Hong Kong Law - 502 - 19 June 2020