Hong Kong raises fines for COVID-19 violations to HK$5,000
HONG KONG - The Hong Kong government announced on Friday that fixed-penalty fines for people who breach anti-COVID-19 rules would be increased from HK$2,000 to HK$5,000, effective Dec 11.
In a statement issued on Friday evening, a spokesman for the Food and Health Bureau said the increase is needed to create a deterrence effect.
"Faced with the epidemic surge, apart from tightening various infection control measures, it is imperative to increase the relevant penalties in order to create the necessary deterrence effect and ensure strict compliance with relevant requirements," the spokesman said.
Anyone who violates the public gathering ban, fails to wear a mask in public venues or fails to comply with the requirement of compulsory testing is subject to the penalty.
The maximum penalties for violators who are convicted in court will be increased to HK$10,000.
Meanwhile, the city will cancel its annual New Year countdown fireworks display and Chinese Lunar New Year parade due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said the event organizer the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) on Friday.
The annual fireworks display scheduled at midnight of Dec 31 is canceled this year to uphold the social distancing measures, the HKTB said.
Meanwhile, no parade will be held during the Chinese Lunar New Year as overseas performing groups are unable to join the event due to lasting travel restrictions.
The HKTB said it's mulling a hybrid online/offline event to celebrate the annual event.
With Xinhua inputs