Hong Kong to implement new safety and distancing measures
Nicolle Liu in Hong Kong
Hong Kong has banned gatherings of more than two people, stopped people dining in restaurants and made face coverings mandatory in all public places after a resurgence in coronavirus cases.
The local government announced the safety and distancing measures as total confirmed cases of the virus in the Chinese territory topped 2,700.
Hong Kong moved swiftly and aggressively to contain Covid-19 in January, and with its continued efforts to prevent the spread of the virus only 20 local lives have been lost to the pandemic.
Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung said on Monday that dining-in will be banned for seven days, wearing masks will be mandatory for indoor and outdoor public places, and sports premises and swimming pools will be temporarily closed.
He added that Chief Executive Carrie Lam had made a request to the central government in Beijing to help boost Hong Kong’s testing capacity and assist with setting up a mobile hospital.
Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan said the sources of many recent infections remained unknown and the government would expand voluntary virus testing to about 500,000 people from high-risk groups in the community, including minibus drivers and wet market stallholders.
Bitcoin rises to highest level since February
Cryptocurrency bitcoin has hit its highest level against the dollar since February,
A single bitcoin now trades at $10,177, according to Refnitiv data, a level it has not reached since February 14.
The cryptocurrency, which is often volatile, has rallied in the past two weeks, tracking a similar run-up in the gold price and after trading in a tight range since late May.
Fans of bitcoin believe investing in the cryptocurrency provides a haven against market volatility and the effect on fiat currencies such as the dollar and the euro from central banks’ stimulus efforts.
As our colleagues on FT Alphaville pointed out in this March article however:
Whereas other safe havens tend to show negative correlations with so-called risk assets like stocks or oil or high-yield bonds, bitcoin tends to show no correlation to anything (apart from other cryptocurrencies).
On March 9, a day when stock markets fell sharply, US government bonds rallied and gold hit a seven-year high, the price of bitcoin fell by almost 10 per cent, Alphaville reported.
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