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Updated: Hong Kong’s latest COVID-19 social distancing guidelines

By Ngai Yeung 3 September 2020 | Last Updated 15 September 2020

Header images courtesy of Yung Chi Wai Derek (via Shutterstock) and Ocean Park Hong Kong

With everything in flux, it’s hard to keep tabs on what’s closed and what’s not given the government’s ever-changing social distancing guidelines. We’ve dug through public information and official government announcements to compile all you need to know about what you can and cannot do in a handy table for your reference.

Sep 18 UPDATE: From 18 September onwards, swimming pools, bars and theme parks of Disneyland and Ocean Park will all reopen in the latest series of restrictions lifting. However, pools will be operating at half-capacity, and bars must close at midnight. Government beaches remain closed given the risk of close contact.

Sep 11 UPDATE: From 11 September onwards, a maximum of four people per table will be allowed in restaurants. The number of people allowed to gather in public spaces will similarly rise from two to four. Also starting from 11 September, the following establishments are allowed to reopen: saunas, mahjong parlours, game arcades, and most sports venues. However, bars, karaoke, saunas, and party rooms will remain closed for now. Masks remain mandatory in public spaces. Discussions are also opening up regarding travel to 11 foreign countries, including Germany, France, Switzerland, Japan, and Thailand.

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Photo credit: Alison Pang (via Unsplash)

General

Place
GuidelinesDatesExceptions
Outdoors (all spaces)
  • Masks on at all times
  • Do not gather in groups bigger than four
Masks since 29 Jul until TBD.

Groups of four max allowed starting 11 Sep

  • Can take off mask for exercise and in country parks
  • These are exempt from four people limit: If you’re from the same household, on public transportation, at work
Indoors (public spaces)
  • Masks on at all times
  • Do not gather in groups bigger than four
Masks since 29 Jul until TBD.

Groups of four max allowed starting 11 Sep

  • These are exempt from four people limit: If you’re from the same household, at the hospital or other healthcare facilities, funerals, at work, court proceedings, shops, building lobbies 

The maximum penalty for flouting these government regulations are a $25,000 fine and six months’ imprisonment.

Photo credit: Johen Redman (via Unsplash)

Food & drink

TypeOpen?GuidelinesDatesNotes
Restaurants and cafésYes4 people per table max.
  • 4 people per table max beginning 11 Sep
  • Dine-in hours are from 5 am to 10 pm. Only takeaway is allowed after that time.
  • All eateries are only allowed to operate at half capacity, max.
  • Expect to have your temperature taken upon entering

Bars and pubs

No, but open starting 18 Sep

Must close at midnight

Open starting 18 Sep
  • Bars with catering permits operate as restaurants
Photo credit: Deanna J (via Unsplash)

Public facilities 

Below are guidelines for government-run public facilities managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD). For the record, hikes and cycling paths were never closed before at any point and remain available, though do check first here for hikes in country parks.

TypeOpen?TimeNotes
Tennis courts, bowling greens, roller and skateparksYesOpen since 29 AugNgau Chi Wan Park Archery Range, Shek O Obstacle Golf Course, Tuen Mun Recreation and Sports Centre are also open
Running tracks in sports groundsYesOpen since 29 AugN/A
Beaches NoClosed until TBDBarbeque pits are also closed
Sport centres

Yes

Open since 11 SepN/A
Pools No, but open starting 18 SepOpen from 18 SepWill operate at half-capacity
Soccer pitches, basketball courts, children's play and outdoor exercise equipment 

Yes

Open since 11 SepN/A
Libraries
NoClosed until TBDSelf-service book drops around the city open for book returns starting Sep
MuseumsDependsVaries

Some museums have reopened and are limiting visitors to 2 hour sessions; check with individual museums before heading out

Performance venuesYes


Open since 11 Sep

N/A
Photo credit: Danielle Cerullo (via Unsplash)

Personal care & fitness

TypeOpen?GuidelinesDates
Barbershops and hair salonsYesN/AN/A
Nail salonsYes
  • 1.5-metre distance and partitioning between seats
Open since 28 Aug
Beauty and massage parloursYes
  • Clients and equipment must maintain 1.5-metre distance
Open since 4 Sep
GymsYes
  • Must wear mask at all times
  • Four people max. groups, including trainer
  • Equipment will be set 1.5 metres apart with partitions in place
  • Sauna facilities remain closed
Open since 4 Sep
Ice-skating rinksYesN/AOpen since 11 Sep
Bathhouses and saunas

No

N/AClosed until TBD
Photo credit: Jake Hills (via Unsplash)

Entertainment & leisure

TypeOpen?Guidelines

Time

Cinemas

Yes
  • Half-capacity
  • No more than two consecutive seats occupied in same row
  • Food and drinks not allowed

Open since 28 Aug

HotelsYes

N/A

Mahjong parlours

YesN/A

Open since 11 Sep

ArcadesYesN/AOpen since 11 Sep
Karaoke NoN/AClosed until TBD
Party roomsNoN/AClosed until TBD
Disneyland and Ocean ParkNo, but open starting 18 Sep
  • Separate from the park, Disneyland Resort remains open with social distancing guidelines in place
Open from 18 Sep
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Ngai was born and raised in Hong Kong and is currently studying at university in the United States. You can find her wandering around the city, experimenting with egg recipes and nerding out about the news.

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