Hong Kong suspends more facilities and services amid fears of community outbreak

Hong Kong hotel operators have called on the government to waive rents and even allow properties to offer empty rooms on long-term leases, or for sale, as a way of survival amid a steep decline in occupancy and rates brought on by 16 weeks of protests in the city. Photo: Bloomberg. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

HONG KONG, Mar 28, 2020, The Standard. Public facilities and services including the court trials and HOS (Home Ownership Scheme) flat selections will be suspended, as the government scrambled to curb the outbreak of Covid-19, The Standard reported.

The Department of Justice announced today only urgent and essential court hearings would be handled starting next week in accordance with the government’s approach to practice social distancing, while other court cases will be postponed and resume earliest on April 13.

The number of cases handled in the same courtroom at each session will also be reduced to space out court proceedings, capacity limits for courtrooms, court lobbies and registry areas would also be imposed to contain passenger flow.

The Housing Authority has also issued special work arrangements from next week. The HOS sales unit in Lok Fu’s customer service center and the green form subsidized home ownership scheme sales unit in Kwun Tong will only be open to applicants with prior appointments. All HOS flat selection sessions will be suspended until further notice.

The West Kowloon cultural district venues will also adopt new measures, including temporary 14-day closure of the Atrium of the Xiqu Center and Lau Bak Livehouse.

The M+ Pavilion and the performing arts venues in the Xiqu Center and Freespace will remain closed as announced 5 days earlier. Ticket offices at these two locations will be shut, but ticketing hotline service will remain available.

Meanwhile, private parties have decided to close their doors in keeping with the government’s appeal.
Wong Tai Sin temple will be temporarily shut down for two weeks until April 12, and all religious events will be canceled during this period.

Another religion group, the incorporated trustees of the Islamic community fund of Hong Kong, will close mosques and suspend religious activities starting tomorrow as the restriction on no more than four-people gatherings takes effect.

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