The Hong Kong government has tightened Covid-19 social distancing rules following the outbreak of a fifth wave of infections led by the highly contagious but less lethal Omicron variant. HKFP has rounded up and answered questions from our readers about the latest regulations. Last update: July 8, 2022.

See also: HKFP Guide: Hong Kong’s Covid-19 vaccine pass – frequently asked questions

What are the latest restrictions?

A woman scans the “Leave Home Safe” QR code at the North Point Government Offices. Photo: GovHK.

The government has further relaxed social distancing measures from May 19 after regulations were expanded in early February, as the city was struggling to contain coronavirus infections. The latest Covid-19 social distancing rules include:

  • Public gatherings of more than four people are banned.
  • Restaurants can seat a maximum of eight people per table from 5 a.m. to 11.59 p.m.
  • Bars are allowed to operate from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m., customers must present a negative Covid-19 test result from within the past 24 hours.
  • The list of designated “scheduled premises” at which the Covid-19 vaccine pass applies had been extended from 17 to 23 types of premises to include religious venues, supermarkets and shopping malls.
  • The vaccine pass came into effect on February 24 in all scheduled premises.
  • Not complying with compulsory testing directions or notices will result in a fixed penalty of HK$10,000. The maximum penalty will be a HK$25,000 fine and up to six months in prison.

The government has made exemptions in the mask-wearing mandate, allowing those excising outdoors or in gyms and sport stadiums to remove their facemask.

Eating and drinking are also banned on all public transportation, including ferries and trams, and paid areas of MTR stations.

List of scheduled premised under Cap. 599F – click to view

  • Bathhouses
  • Party rooms
  • Beauty parlours
  • Nightclubs
  • Karaoke establishments
  • Mahjong houses
  • Swimming pools
  • Cruise ships
  • Amusement game centres
  • Gyms
  • Places of amusement (e.g. ice staking rinks)
  • Places of public entertainment (e.g. movie theatres)
  • Beauty parlours
  • Event premises
  • Hotels or guesthouses
  • Shopping malls
  • Markets
  • Department stores
  • Supermarkets
  • Club-houses
  • Hair salons
  • Massage parlours
  • Sports premises
  • Religious venues

Is there a ban on household gatherings?

No, from April 21, there are no limits on the number of households for gatherings held on private premises.

What is the public gathering limit?

Gatherings of more than four people are banned in public places. Groups have to be at least 1.5 metres apart.

What about families of more than four people? – Click to view

Exemptions are made for people living in the same household.

Can a family of more than four people sit together in restaurants? – Click to view

Only four people are allowed on each table in restaurants.

Are babies included? – Click to view

Yes, babies count as a person.

What is the vaccine pass?

HKFP has compiled a separate guide on the latest rules on the Covid-19 vaccine pass. Click here to read it: HKFP Guide: Hong Kong’s Covid-19 vaccine pass – frequently asked questions

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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.