January 14, 2022 11:35
The government is slightly easing a gathering ban for three weeks until the Lunar New Year holiday.
From next week, up to six people will be allowed to gather, up from the current four, but against expectations the 9 p.m. curfew for restaurants and coffee shops remains in place despite a massive campaign of civil disobedience.
Even some in a meeting with government officials and experts demanded lifting the curfew, but most agreed to extend the current lockdown, which was only ever billed as a two-week circuit breaker as hospitals increase capacity for serious cases, due to the Omicron panic and resistance to vaccine passes.
The decision was based on concerns about the Omicron variant, the arrival of COVID pills and a successful court challenge against mandatory vaccine passes, according to a government official Thursday.
A ruling party official said, "We'll keep compensating small businesses as long as lockdown is extended."
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