The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) announced today (September 16) that, in view of the latest situation of COVID-19, some leisure venues and museums will be reopened in phases from September 18 (Friday).
Among the leisure venues, fee charging facilities for team games including soccer pitches, baseball courts, rugby pitches, cricket grounds, hockey grounds, indoor facilities such as basketball courts, volleyball courts, netball courts and handball courts will reopen on September 18.
"While the law of prohibiting group gatherings of more than four persons is still in force, any team game with more than four participants may violate the relevant regulation. However, in order to enable team sports lovers to resume their exercise, and for sports coaches to work as soon as possible, the LCSD will reopen fee charging facilities of these sports in the first place. Controls on the number of users and social distancing measures in these facilities could be implemented more effectively for sub-group activities/training. There should be no more than four persons in each sub-group and at least 1.5 metres between each other," said the LCSD spokesman.
The LCSD will pay close attention to the development of the epidemic and the prohibition on group gatherings, and will gradually reopen other team game facilities in an orderly manner.
Apart from the above team game facilities, the LCSD will reopen outdoor non-fee charging chess tables and amphitheatres (for individual leisure use) on September 18, outdoor children's play equipment and road safety towns on September 23. A limitation of not more than four persons in each group gathering at these facilities will be imposed. The LCSD will also continue to close spectator stands, cancel organisation bookings for competitions and step up cleaning measures.
Members of the public can book the reopened fee charging land-based leisure facilities via the Internet Booking Service of Leisure Link, Leisure Link Booking Office and Self-service Kiosks of the reopened facilities and Leisure Link Booking Office of the District Leisure Services Offices starting from tomorrow (September 17).
Furthermore, swimming pools in various districts will reopen on September 18, except Island East Swimming Pool, Tai Kok Tsui Swimming Pool, Ho Man Tin Swimming Pool, Ping Shan Tin Shui Wai Swimming Pool and Tsing Yi Southwest Swimming Pool, which are undergoing annual maintenance work. For details of facilities in swimming pools to be reopened, please refer to notices displayed at the venues. The reopened swimming pools will operate from 6.30am to 10pm for three sessions daily with two breaks.
In view of the latest situation of COVID-19, the LCSD will adopt special measures at public swimming pools to be reopened, which include:
- Temporarily limiting the number of users in swimming pools to 50 per cent of the capacity to maintain distance among swimmers, and opening some pool facilities only;
- Distributing numbered tickets to people lining up when the numbers of users in swimming pools have reached the temporary maximum pool capacity, and reminding them to take note of the numbers shown on the queuing board in order to avoid people gathering;
- Arranging body temperature screening for all people before entering swimming pools. Those with symptoms such as fever or respiratory illness will not be allowed to enter the swimming pools;
- Opening alternate cubicles or shower heads to ensure appropriate distance between users of shower facilities;
- No more than four persons per training group/class including the coach should be arranged for team training. There must be a distance of at least 1.5m between each training group/class. For a training group/class of more than four persons, it must be conducted in a way to ensure that persons are arranged in sub-groups of no more than four persons and there is a distance of at least 1.5m between each sub-group; and
- Closing spectator stands at swimming pools temporarily.
The public are also reminded to wear masks at all times within swimming pools except when they are swimming, having a shower, walking from a changing room to a pool or vice versa, walking from a pool to another pool, or doing warm-up exercises with a distance of at least 1.5m from others.
Some leisure facilities will continue to be closed until further notice. They are public beaches, non-fee charging outdoor team game pitches/courts such as soccer pitches, basketball courts, volleyball courts, handball courts, netball courts, a roller hockey court, gateball courts and cricket grounds as well as barbecue sites, indoor children's play rooms and Pui O Campsite.
Processing and acceptance of individual and block booking applications for non-fee charging land recreation and sports facilities as well as block booking applications for fee charging land recreation and sports facilities are maintained. Processing and application for use of amphitheatres and non-fee charging leisure venues for non-designated use/sales activities are suspended until further notice.
Regarding cultural venues, the Hong Kong Science Museum and the Hong Kong Space Museum will partially reopen their exhibition facilities on September 23 (Wednesday) and implement special opening hours. Public programmes and children facilities will be temporarily suspended. Except on regular closing days, special opening hours from 10am to 5pm daily will be implemented for LCSD museums, including the box office of the Hong Kong Film Archive, while the Hong Kong Space Museum will be open from 12.30pm to 5pm. All museums will continue to apply visitor quotas, with the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, the Hong Kong Museum of History, the Hong Kong Science Museum and the Hong Kong Space Museum applying visits by sessions to limit visitor flows.
Visitors to facilities of museums will need to use hand sanitiser and will be subject to temperature checks before admission. They also need to wear their own masks. Children under 12 will only be allowed to enter museums and exhibition facilities when accompanied by an adult. Enhanced measures including cleaning and disinfection between sessions will be conducted.
The LCSD will continue to monitor the situation closely and review the arrangements in a timely manner.
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