With the COVID-19 epidemic largely under control, schools in Hong Kong resumed in-person learning on Wednesday after months of suspension.
Students in primary and secondary one, five and six and kindergarten K3 returned to campuses on Wednesday for half-day classes, according to the official schedule, with the rest expected to return to classrooms on Tuesday.
Anti-epidemic measures were put in place for the reopening as many schools arranged alcohol disinfectant and infrared body thermometers.
A speaking robot greeted students at the entrance of S.K.H. St. James' Primary School in Wan Chai, repeating three basic ways to fend off the virus, namely mask-wearing, hand-washing and temperature checking.
Hong Kong is gradually returning to normal as the epidemic breaking out in early July eased greatly, with the number of daily new local infections remaining at a low level.
Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection reported three new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, including two local infections, bringing the tally to 5,049. With most patients healed and discharged, there are currently 167 patients still hospitalized.
Most of the entertainment venues including bars and amusement parks have been reopened on condition of maintaining prevention measures. Hong Kong's iconic theme park Ocean Park resumed operation last week and Hong Kong Disneyland will also reopen on Friday.
However, health experts cautioned that people should keep their guards up as another wave of COVID-19 spread is still likely to occur in winter.
The HKSAR government on Wednesday decided to extend social distancing measures for another seven days starting Friday, including mandatory mask-wearing in public areas and a ban on gatherings above four.