HONG KONG, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong will partially loosen its social distancing measures to allow daily activities further back to normal as there have been no new local cases of COVID-19 reported over the past 14 days.
Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Carrie Lam announced the decision Monday at a press conference.
Elaborating on the loosening, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan said the new measures will be effective for initially 14 days from Thursday, including that eateries that meet vaccination requirements will be able to resume 75 percent of or full operation capacity.
Bars, nightclubs, karaoke lounges and swimming pools will also see eased capacity limits, with some on the condition of staff and customers getting the vaccine.
Religious gatherings, weddings and local group tours will also enjoy similar relaxation of control measures.
Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection said there were three new imported cases on Monday, all carrying the same type of mutant strain, taking the COVID-19 tally of the financial hub to 11,889.
The vaccine rollout is also making progress. Some 1.94 million residents have taken at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Sunday, accounting for 28.5 percent of eligible groups in Hong Kong, with nearly 1.28 million people fully vaccinated.
Lam said the vaccination rate is still unsatisfactory and called on residents to more actively get the vaccine, stressing the significance of the vaccination against COVID-19 to controlling the risk of the virus spread.
Hong Kong will also shorten the quarantine time from two weeks to seven days for travelers from foreign countries, who need to have been fully immunized, test negative for coronavirus and have antibodies in blood tests.
The arrangement will be first for those having Hong Kong residential status from June 30 and expanded to non-residents in a month. Enditem