The Hong Kong government has ordered massage and beauty parlours to close for two weeks from Friday onwards in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The announcement on Wednesday from the secretary for food and health also extended existing social distancing measures to April 23, in accordance with the Prevention and Control of Disease Regulation. These restrictions included a ban on public gatherings of more than four people and limiting catering businesses from operating at no more than half of their seating capacities.

Massage parlour. File photo: Wikicommons.

Bathhouses, fitness centres, entertainment facilities such as cinemas, as well as country park barbecue sites and campsites, have been closed since March 28.

Bars, night clubs, karaoke and mahjong premises were also ordered to close from last Wednesday following a cluster of seven infections at a karaoke lounge in Tsim Sha Tsui. Similar clusters prompted the government to order all businesses exclusively serving alcohol to shut for from last Friday onwards.

First detected in Hubei province, China, more than 1,430,000 people globally have been infected with Covid-19, leading to over 82,100 deaths. Hong Kong has reported 935 confirmed cases and four deaths in relation to the virus.

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Rachel Wong

Rachel Wong previously worked as a documentary producer and academic researcher. She has a BA in Comparative Literature and European Studies from the University of Hong Kong. She has contributed to A City Made by People and The Funambulist, and has an interest in cultural journalism and gender issues.