Major Hong Kong public services restored as pandemic abates


The majority of Hong Kong’s 170,000 civil servants will return to work in their offices on May 4, 2020 following the lockdown. - The Star/ANN

HONG KONG (China Daily/ANN): After a pandemic-induced shutdown of more than a month, most major public services in Hong Kong were restored on Monday (May 4) morning.

The majority of the city’s 170,000 civil servants will return to work in their offices on Monday. As of Sunday, the city had not seen a new case of Covid-19 transmitted locally for 14 days in a row.

On March 23, the government suspended most non-emergency public services and temporarily closed public places of leisure, and told civil servants to work from home to contain the transmission of virus.

About 4,800 civil servants had since worked from home and another approximately 30,000 had worked every other day to minimise the risk of coronavirus infection.

Outdoor sports grounds, public libraries and museums reopened in a phased manner on Monday. The current ban on gatherings of more than four people in public places at a time and the order to keep entertainment venues closed will remain in force through Thursday.

Visitors to any indoor public facility that reopened on Monday must wear masks, and will have their temperature checked.

Government departments are advised, however, to maintain flexible working hours and lunch breaks, and to schedule video calls instead of face-to-face meetings.

Public schools and performance venues remain closed until further notice. People who work for such institutions will continue to work from home.

Court proceedings also resumed. Court and tribunal registries will start to reopen in phases on Wednesday, with registries of the Court of Final Appeal and the High Court scheduled to open first.

Because of the prevailing concern about the public health situation and the need for social distancing, court proceedings will be initially held with a reduced capacity.

A mandatory 14-day home quarantine arrangement for all arrivals from the Chinese mainland, Macao and Taiwan stays in force until June 7. - China Daily/Asia News Network

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