HONG KONG, March 27 (Xinhua) -- The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government on Friday announced new social distancing measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, such as limits on gatherings and restaurant services, in response to a surging imported cases.
Group gatherings of more than four people in public places will be prohibited over the next two weeks from Sunday, HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam told a press conference.
Restrictions will be imposed on dine-in services of restaurants, bars and cafes since Saturday night, including closing half of all the seats, keeping a safe distance between tables, and measuring temperatures of diners. Entertainment venues will be shut down also since Saturday evening, including amusement game centers, fitness rooms, cinemas and rinks.
Lam said those measures are designed to further promote social distancing amid an escalated situation in Hong Kong.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases surged from less than 140 to more than 500 in Hong Kong during the past two weeks as the rapidly-spreading pandemic overseas increased the imported risk of Hong Kong. The new cases stood at 65 cases on Friday, the biggest daily jump since the COVID-19 outbreak.