Fines for violating Covid-19 social-distancing rules will be increased to from HK$2,000 to HK$10,000, according to local media, as Hong Kong reported 103 new infections on Wednesday.

Sources cited by Now News and HK01 said the Executive Council had agreed to increase the penalties for violations of coronavirus restrictions including mandatory mask-wearing, group gathering rules and quarantine requirements.

File photo: GovHK.

The increase came after Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Monday that the HK$2,000 fines were “not very effective.”

Tighter restrictions were also announced on Monday: restaurants will close at 10pm and only two people will now be allowed to be seated at each restaurant table.

Hong Kong reported 103 cases on Wednesday, including 15 cases with unknown sources. There were also 70 preliminary positive cases reported.

Free vaccines

Additionally, Hong Kong is exploring options to provide free vaccines to its citizens, according to health chief Sophia Chan.

The government had already reserved funds to purchase enough vaccines for twice as many people as the population of Hong Kong, Chan told the Legislative Council on Wednesday.

The government will prioritise vaccinations for three million people from high-risk groups, such as medical workers, elderly people, and chronic patients.

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Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.