Hong Kong shuts nightlife venues, steps up tracing amid 4th Covid wave

Hong Kong, Nov 24 (efe-epa).- Hong Kong will close all nightlife venues and impose the use of mobile tracking applications on restaurants in an attempt to slow down the spread of Covid-19 in the city, the local government announced on Tuesday.

The health secretary, Sophia Chan, told a press conference that 80 new infections had been confirmed, the highest figure in three months.

“There are multiple transmission chains in the community,” Chan said.

“We need to tighten all social distancing measures, because the pandemic is severe.”

Hong Kong will close nightlife establishments such as bars, karaoke bars, saunas and recreation halls for at least seven days and will also limit the capacity of the hotel industry.

It is the third time the authorities in the Special Administrative Region have resorted to such restrictions since the start of the pandemic.

According to the state-run RTHK, public gatherings, both outdoors and in restaurants, will remain limited to four people.

The recent cluster of cases has been linked to dance studios, some of which are unlicensed, RTHK reported.

The closure order for bars – which have not been connected to any outbreaks – has provoked anger from people in the industry.

The director of the Lan Kwai Fong Association, Anthea Cheung, told RTHK that she expects that nearly half of the city’s bars could go out of business if they have to close for an extended period.

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