People wearing face masks ride an escalator in a shopping mall in Central, Hong Kong, July 22, 2020. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)
HONG KONG – The mandatory mask-wearing rule to contain the coronavirus pandemic will be expanded to more public areas as Hong Kong reported a daily record of 113 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday.
Among the 113 new cases, 105 were transmitted locally, adding to a slew of new cases which have hit the global financial hub over the past two weeks.
Of the additional local cases, more than half -- 63 -- were unlinked to previous cases.
Officials are quickly imposing the strictest rules yet after easing guidelines over the past month. Effective Thursday, mask-wearing requirements will be expanded to indoor public venues -- including malls, shops, supermarkets, markets and building lobbies, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee said at a press briefing.
As many areas in the world still face a grave epidemic situation, Hong Kong will add the United States and Kazakhstan to the list of high-risk areas, effective next Wednesday
The maximum fine will be HK$5,000. Currently, public transport passengers are already required to wear masks to curb the virus.
The new rule will remain in force for two weeks primarily.
As many areas in the world still face a grave epidemic situation, Hong Kong will add the United States and Kazakhstan to the list of high-risk areas, effective next Wednesday. Inbound visitors who have been to those places within 14 days should provide health certificates, valid for 72 hours, along with hotel reservation information, before boarding.
Chan said the next two weeks are crucial to Hong Kong's anti-disease efforts and there could be stricter measures if the tally continues to increase.
“Hong Kong’s epidemic is at the most severe moment,” said Chan. “I urge all citizens to stay in their homes and stop unnecessary outings.”
With agencies' inputs
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