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Asia Minute

Asia Minute: Loosening Restrictions in Singapore, Hong Kong

AP Photo/YK Chan
Subway commuters emerge from the Raffles Place MRT exit in Singapore Tuesday, June 2, 2020. Singapore reopened 75 percent of its economy Tuesday, as part of a three-phase controlled approach to end a virus lockdown since early April.

Interisland travel without quarantine is now underway. And on Friday, bars will be allowed to re-open on Oahu. Friday also marks a new phase for looser restrictions for two important economies in Asia.

Restaurants will be open in Singapore starting Friday, with no more than five people at a table. Venues from retail stores to swimming pools can open, but museums and libraries still cannot.

Bars, nightclubs and movie theaters will remain closed and gatherings from religious services to trade shows are still banned — although in-person visits to nursing homes are now allowed.

Seniors are still advised to remain home as much as possible, and those who can work from home are encouraged to do so.

Masks are mandatory.

Singapore has reported roughly 41,000 cases of COVID-19, and 26 deaths.

Hong Kong has had more than 1,100 cases and four deaths, but only one day of new cases in the double digits since early April. 

Authorities there are going faster and further in lifting restrictions. As of Friday, public gatherings of up to 50 will be allowed — bars and nightclubs can seat up to eight people at a table, and there will be no limit on the number of people allowed in a restaurant.

Live musical performances are allowed, as long as entertainers wear a mask or maintain distance from the audience.

Hong Kong Disneyland opens tomorrow, but conventions and trade shows won’t resume until July — most likely kicked off by the Hong Kong Book Fair.

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