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Hong Kong will re-open arcades this week

New guidelines allow "amusement game centres" to resume business as city eases pandemic precautions

Video game arcades are among the businesses due to resume operations in Hong Kong this Friday.

The city announced new guidelines this week, which will allow certain companies to reopen their establishments in order to boost the economy, The Register reports.

In addition to "amusement game centres", Hong Kong will also allow cinemas, gyms, bars and beauty salons to open their doors at the end of the week.

However, there will be some restrictions. Arcade operators will need to either form barriers between machines, or ensure that every second console is inactive.

The city has also restricted the number of people that may gather in a group, although this is due to be raised from four to eight.

A spokesperson from the Food and Health Bureau said: "In light of the more stabilised situation in Hong Kon in terms of the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the recent weeks... a window of opportunity exists for us to life some of the social distancing measures at the moment."

Despite its population of 7.5 million people, Hong Kong has only reported 1,040 confirmed cases since the first was reported in January.

Around 2% of these were admitted to intensive car, while four have died. Over 900 have recovered from the virus.

Retail and other businesses are still closed, with potential punishments including fines of up to HK$50,000 and a six-month prison sentence.

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