The government will gazette the extension of most existing social distancing measures for 14 days till October 13.

But the maximum number of guests allowed per banquet in catering businesses adopting type D mode of operation will be relaxed to 240.

Other relevant requirements for such banquets will remain the same, including the requirements that all staff must have completed their vaccination course and at least two-thirds of the banquet participants must have received the first dose of vaccine.

"Given the high transmissibility of the mutant strains and the relatively low vaccination rate of the elderly, it is worrying that the elderly will be subject to extremely high risks of getting seriously ill and death if there is a fifth wave of epidemic. In this regard, we need to maintain most of the social distancing measures currently in place," said a spokesman for the Food and Health Bureau.