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Updated Hong Kong social distancing rules: Beaches and pools to reopen and more

Great news on Hong Kong’s social distancing rules: Starting this Thursday, beaches and pools will reopen, masks will no longer be required for outdoor exercise, and up to eight people can dine together again. If things continue to go well, we are free to reunite with our favourite bars, karaoke lounges and clubs from 19 May onward.

May 2022 is off to a good start: we get to to enjoy consecutive long weekends, Mother’s Day is on its way, and of course, the social distancing rules in Hong Kong are to be relaxed again this Thursday. Say goodbye to mediocre workout sessions and dinner celebrations, as masks are no longer a must for outdoor exercises, and having up to eight dinner guests will be fine and dandy.

If you still remember the government’s road map for relieving social distancing rules, it’s going well — “Phase 2” will kickstart on 19 May, meaning bars and nightclubs will see their long-awaited return after more than three months of suspension. Welcome back, Hong Kong after dark!

Hong Kong’s updated social distancing rules (Starting 5 May)

  • 8 diners per table: Scrap 4, now it’s 8. If you’re planning a Mother’s Day gathering, your extended family can join in the fun; and if you’re dying to film a proper boomerang cheers (cheugy behaviour but, come on, it’s been a while), invite your friends and your friends’ friends.
  • Outdoor recreational venues will open again: Beaches, swimming pools and water playgrounds are re-opening, and they’d better stay open.
  • Masks exempted for outdoor exercise: You can officially get back to your mask-free outdoor workout routine from this Thursday onward. While some believe having a mask on makes for great cardio training, it’s nice to catch a breath of fresh air after all this time.

What to expect further down the line (Starting 19 May)

  • Bars and nightclubs will open again: Great news for those who missed the untz untz untz dearly. And no need to chug, since your favourite bars will be open until 2am.
  • Extended dine-in hours: Craving a midnight bite? Starting from 19 May, restaurants may operate until 12am instead of the existing 10pm — it’s a night and day difference.
  • Wedding banquets of up to 120 guests: You can’t escape the “red bomb” any longer. From 19 May onward, the maximum number of guests per banquet will be generously raised from 20 to 120.

Need help planning your next night out? Find out which of Asia’s 50 Best Bars are but a train ride away, or discover new dishes from some of the most popular restaurants in town.

Michelle Chan
Hotel living enthusiast who is into anything remotely goth. Listening to Army of Lovers and HIM with noise-cancelling headphones in the streets of Wan Chai, juice in hand. Email me anything interesting!
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