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New rise in infections sees Hong Kong’s museums close for the third time

New rise in infections sees Hong Kong’s museums close for the third time
July 22, 2020

With a third wave of Coronavirus cases impacting Hong Kong, the special administrative region has instituted its strictest measures yet for combatting the spread of disease, including once again shutting down the city’s museums.

Having first made the decision to close museums in late January, during the early days of the pandemic, museums and other attractions reopened in March, closed again in May and reopened last month.

Now, following this latest wave of infections, Hong Kong’s Leisure and Cultural Services Department last week issued a statement announcing “the leisure and cultural venues/facilities reopened earlier will be temporarily closed starting from July 15.”

Affected institutions include the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the HK Visual Arts Centre, and the University Museum and Art Gallery at the University of Hong Kong. Non-government institutions are following suit.

The West Kowloon Cultural District is closing the M+ Pavilion, where “Shirley Tse: Stakes and Holders” was scheduled to be on view through 4th October, and the Liang Yi Museum is also shutting down.

The new restrictions also include mandatory face masks on public transportation and limiting restaurants to take out after 6 p.m. Prior to the current spike, the government had lifted restrictions on parties of more than eight at restaurants and permitted gatherings for up to 50 people. Now, they are limited again to four people, as was the case back in March.

This is the second time that Hong Kong has been forced to quell a new rise in case counts. The city eased restrictions in March and reopened museums on the 11th of that month - until the number of cases suddenly doubled from 157 to 317, and institutions closed again.

Image: The Hong Kong Museum of Art. Image courtesy Niklas Morberg via Flickr.

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