Author: Anjali Muthanna

From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

The Hong Kong Education Bureau (EDB) announced that all students can attend graduation ceremonies, irrespective of their vaccination status. In a statement issued on May 19, the EDB also laid out the conditions under which schools can conduct large-scale half-day events, musical and school teams training. The guidelines regarding graduation ceremonies were issued after the Hong Kong Committee on Children’s Rights urged the government to revise its policies about unvaccinated students not being able to attend such events. “Since the vaccination requirements for children have been changed only recently, some schools have over one-third of the students without the two…

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Starting today, bars and clubs across Hong Kong will reopen as part of the government’s plan to gradually relax social distancing rules imposed during the Omicron-fuelled fifth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the city. Restaurants can also extend their opening hours till midnight from today. However, live performances and dancing at restaurants, pubs and bars are still prohibited. In addition, the maximum number of people allowed at banquets is now 120. Karaoke establishments, party rooms, mahjong premises and other venues under Cap. 599F have also resumed services. Fitness centres and gyms can reopen and mask-wearing is not mandatory at…

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Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor reiterated that the government will implement the next stage of the city’s vaccine pass requirements to boost vaccination rates. All Hong Kong residents must get a third dose of a Covid-19 vaccination by May 31, unless exempted, in order to enter establishments such as restaurants, cinemas, gyms and other premises in the city covered by the vaccine pass. Lam made these remarks in response to an op-ed by University of Hong Kong professors Ben Cowling and Theo Chan. The professors, who are experts in epidemiology and pharmacology respectively, say that vaccine pass…

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The Hong Kong government added six more hotels to its list of Designated Quarantine Hotels (DQHs), which are meant for international travellers to serve their mandatory seven-day isolation period when they arrive in the city. The new hotels will start accepting reservations this week for late May onwards, according to a government press release. These new hotels will be included in the seventh cycle of DQHs, which will end on July 31. They are: Empire Hotel Kowloon, Tsim Sha TsuiHotel AlexandraHotel COZi‧Harbour ViewHotel COZi‧OasisNovotel Century Hong KongRoyal View Hotel This brings the number of hotels offering services to overseas arrivals…

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The Hong Kong government announced a new temporary compulsory testing measure by which registered medical practitioners can issue a direction for patients they suspect of having Covid-19 to undergo a PCR test. This measure, which came into force on May 14, will remain in place until May 27. During this time, patients must get tested within two days of receiving a written direction from a doctor. They can get tested by: Using a specimen bottle provided by the practitioner who issued the direction. They can use this to collect a deep throat saliva sample and submit it at a specimen…

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Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor revealed on Tuesday morning that the third stage of relaxing social distancing measures in the city will begin at the end of June. At her weekly press briefing, Lam also said that the region needs clarity from the Mainland about the conditions to be fulfilled for quarantine-free cross-border travel to resume. In the third stage, which was first announced in March to the relief of Hongkongers, all measures except mask-wearing and required use of the LeaveHomeSafe app and vaccine pass are expected to be dropped. When asked whether any Stage 3 restrictions…

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Starting May 5, overseas visitors who got vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 outside of Hong Kong can get Provisional Vaccine Passes so that they can enter premises that are covered by the vaccine pass arrangement in the city. In other words, this pass will act as a subsitute for non-Hong Kong residents who don’t have local vaccination records so they can enter restaurants, malls, grocery stores, cinemas, etc. More about the Provisional Vaccine Pass From May 1, foreign nationals have been allowed to enter Hong Kong. The government has also stated that all citizens, unless exempted, must get their third…

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Hong Kong’s Mexican-inspired bar Coa topped Asia’s 50 Best Bars list for the second year in a row, making it only the second establishment to achieve this feat. The first place ranking was announced in a ceremony held at Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok last week. Seven other bars from Hong Kong also found spots in the top 50. Singapore had the largest representation on the list with 11 bars, followed by Hong Kong at eight. Canadian restaurant/bar Honky Tonks Tavern bagged the Campari One To Watch Award 2022. This year is the 7th edition of the annual ranking, which is based…

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Update (5 May 2022): In a press release published after Carrie Lam’s press conference, it was announced that swimming pools will reopen gradually from 12 to 16 May, not 5 May as stated below. The reason stated was to conduct filtering, sterilisation, and water sampling to make sure the water quality is safe. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced on Tuesday at her weekly press briefing that the second phase of relaxing the city’s strictest anti-epidemic measures so far will start on May 19, and that some rules will be eased as early as May 5. Lam said the…

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Nine more hotels have been added to the list of government-approved designated quarantine hotels (DQHs). These hotels were previously used as community isolation facilities (CIFs) to accommodate people who tested positive for Covid-19 within the community. These nine hotels will begin accepting bookings for inbound travellers from overseas early this month. This development comes after the government announced that non-Hong Kong residents can enter the city from May 1. However, they must be fully vaccinated, test negative for Covid-19 within 48 hours of their departure to the SAR, undergo a PCR and rapid antigen test (RAT) upon arrival, and stay…

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