More venues to fall under passive vax pass; campsites and outdoor facilities reopen next Thu

Salons, religious premises, entertainment centers, and government-run wet markets will be categorized as premises subject to passive checking of vaccine pass starting next Thursday (Nov 17), at which point citizens holding the amber health code will be granted entry.

The latest measure was announced by Undersecretary for Health Libby Lee Ha-yun on Thursday, as she continued that restaurants, bars, cinemas, and cruises will still be subject to active checking of a valid vaccine pass before entry.

Lee added government will reopen campsites and other outdoor facilities as well, and citizens will be able to eat and drink at the audience stand at sports and performance venues, including racecourses.

As for fitness centers, the 1.5 meters of social distancing between each person will be scrapped. Instead, it will apply to each activity group, with the number of participants capped at 12.

Lee also said authorities have no plan to abandon the LeaveHomeSafe app as it remains an efficient risk management tool.

She stressed that citizens still have to acquire their vaccine pass to enter those premises despite authorities' active or passive checking, and immunization against Covid-19 plays a key role in self-protection.

Lee added the mask mandate will stay as she quoted medical journals stating that wearing a facemask can lower the risk of infection.

The no.2 health chief called on parents to vaccinate their kids as soon as possible because it takes time for the antibodies to develop inside children's bodies.

Hong Kong on Thursday reported 5,697 new Covid-19 infections, including 495 imported cases.