Hong Kong to Re-open Gyms, Massage Parlours from Friday As Virus Cases Drop​

Medical professionals collect samples from a man at the community testing centre for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hong Kong, China September 1, 2020. Anthony Kwan

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong will re-open gyms and massage parlours and extend night-time dining hours from Friday, easing tough coronavirus curbs as new daily infections in the Asian financial hub drop into the single digits. 

Restaurants will be allowed to stay open an hour beyond the  current 9 p.m. time, while fitness centres and places of amusement such as clubs, can re-open, said Sophia Chan, the city's health secretary.

However, a ban on gatherings of more than two people stays, Chan added, saying that while authorities in the Chinese-ruled city were relaxing some social distancing measures, residents needed to stay vigilant.

"We have yet to see a stable situation," she told a news briefing. "Everyone must maintain a certain degree of social distancing." 

The announcement came as China's government offered mass virus testing for Hong Kong residents from this week.    

Hong Kong schools are to resume face-to-face teaching from Sept. 23, among the easing of measures that have kept 900,000 students working at home for more than four months.