Every country is dealing with COVID-19 in their own ways, unique to their countries’ situation.
For us, we’re finally moving to Phase Two, when we can visit other people with a gathering limit of 5. If it’s a HUGE event, our maximum is 20.
It’s a step towards normalcy, but it still feels like we’re trapped.
Now, how does this number compare to other countries?
New Zealand: No Restrictions
On 11 May 2020, New Zealand’s restriction for private gatherings was 10. This then slowly went to up to 50 for funerals on 13 May, then to 100 for social gatherings including religious services, weddings and funerals on 25 May.
On 9 June, after the country’s last active case recovered, there is basically no more restrictions.
But before you start pointing and asking “why can’t we be like New Zealand?”, know that New Zealand’s cases are only 1,506 as of 16 June 2020, with 22 having died from the virus.
In comparison, we have about 40K cases with 26 deaths.
Germany: 10 or Two Households
Unlike New Zealand’s low number of cases, Germany has about 188K cases, with 8,885 deaths.
At least until 29 June, their government permit only up to 10 people or members of two households, to be restricted to a constant circle of people.
United States: 10…?
The US is a bit of a special case. Since March 2020, the government advice is to limit people to 10, and this didn’t change even until today, where the cases number 2.1 million and 118K deaths.
But that’s a piece of government advice and not a law. You see, the United States is really more like 50 countries than 50 states, despite what the country’s name implies.
For COVID-19 matters, this means that every state has its own set of restrictions. For example, Florida‘s restriction allows up to 50 people to congregate.
And you might remember that there are protests currently ongoing all around the States. Last I checked, protests usually have a lot of people.
But how about somewhere closer like our neighbour?
Unlike us, our neighbour doesn’t appear to be very concerned about a specific gathering size. Instead, they restrict gatherings based on activities.
Their recovery movement control order (RMCO) from 9 June to 31 Aug allows for interstate travel and family visits, and even activities like museums, indoor busking, recreational fishing and filming are allowed.
Sports events and entertainment venues like pubs and nightclubs are still not allowed.
Previously, funerals were limited to 20, but the new RMCO removed that limit.
Of course, these have to follow the standard operating procedures like social distancing. The lack of numbers isn’t to say that the government doesn’t care anymore but in their own words,
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“Now is the time for the government to give more leeway to you, on the condition that you take the responsibility seriously to practise the new norms and comply with all SOPs from the government.”
If there’s any kind of gatherings where the government thinks it’s not appropriate, they can still come in and prohibit that.
Hong Kong: Eight
The max allowed number is eight, though there are considerations for this to become 12 soon.
But there are exemptions to the rules, like gathering for transportation or for gathering for work.
And for wedding, you can have up to 50 people, but…food and drinks aren’t allowed.
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