Hong Kong imposes strick measures with $645 mask fines

People wearing face masks are seen shopping at a fish stall inside a wet market on July 25, 2020 in Hong Kong, China. Photo by Vernon Yuen/NurPhoto via AP

Victoria, Hong Kong — Hong Kong imposes strick Covid measures making it mandatory for people to where masks in public and to fine $645 for masks.

Along with fining $645 for the masks, Hong Kong is set to limit the gatherings to no more than two people as officials in the city grapple due to a rising surge in coronavirus infections.

The country’s Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung announced on Monday that face masks would be mandatory in both indoor and outdoor public places starting from Wednesday. The offenders would be facing a fine of 5,000 Hong Kong dollars ($645), although he didn’t specify how the new measure would be enforced.

Although he added that the people with “reasonable excuses” such as medical conditions or children under the age of two will be exempt.

Cheung also announced that the Chinese central government will help build a Wuhan-style makeshit hospital with a capacity of around 2,000 hospital beds near Hong Kong’s airport.

“The epidemic situation is critical,” Cheung said, adding that the next few weeks are extremely crucial for the city. “We are facing a high risk of community outbreak.”

The restrictions come as the city faces a coronavirus outbreak dubbed locally as its “,“ with the origin of many infections still unknown.

Hong Kong has been known for its relative success in curbing the spread of the coronavirus. However, authorities reported more than 100 new cases for the sixth straight day, bringing the city’s total to more than 2,700 on Monday.

Two people has passed away over the past two days – a 76-year-old woman and a 92-year-old man – bringing the total deaths to 20.

Previously Hong Kong had limited public gatherings to four people, however, the restrictions currently introduced in Hong Kong are the tightest rules yet.

When Cheung was asked as to why the city stopped short of imposing a complete lockdow, as other places around the world have done, he replied that it would be too inconvenient and said that he thinks that the current measures taken in the country were appropriate.