Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on Sunday said that COVID-19 situation is now “really critical” as the government announced a series of tough measures like making masks mandatory in all indoor public spaces and ordering civil servants to work from home as the city recorded more than 100 new coronavirus cases – a single-day record.
“I think the situation is really critical and there is no sign the situation is being brought under control,” she said at a special press briefing held to announce the new restrictions.
Lam said the tougher mask rules followed a move by the government last week to require everyone on public transport to wear one.
And from Monday, civil servants will be working from home, an arrangement that was also in place during the outbreak earlier this year. Lam said the government will only provide emergency and essential services to the public. The policy will last for one week.
Twelve types of venues, including bars and gyms, that were shut down for seven days last week will be closed for seven more days. Curbs on restaurants, such as a ban on dine-in services at restaurants from 6 pm, have also been extended for a week.
The chief executive also announced special infection-control measures, especially in Kowloon East where the outbreak is at its worst. Support will be offered to elderly residents staying at home.
The announcement came as Lam said there are no signs the outbreak is under control.
Ahead of a daily briefing by the Centre for Health Prevention, she said the total number of COVID-19 cases on Sunday topped 100.
Lam said new local cases are on the rise as the outbreak worldwide shows no signs of easing, and as authorities here focus on early tracing and testing of contacts.