Restaurant owners urge govt to lift evening dine-in ban

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Restaurant owners have long been waiting for the day the evening dine-in ban is lifted, but with authorities extending Hong Kong's social distancing measures for another seven days, they will still have to wait.

The government today announced that the current social distancing measures will be further extended to February 3, including the mask law and the evening dine-in ban between 6pm and 5am.

Chairman of the Institution of Dining Art, Simon Wong Kit-Lung, also the chairman of the LH Group of restaurants, said authorities should consider lifting the ban, ease a bit of pressure off from the restaurant owners.

“Restaurants are happy to follow the rules, like the restaurant seating cap at 2 people per table and restaurants operating at 50 percent capacity. They could at least keep their businesses running with the extra income,” said Wong.

He said Lunar New Year is the best period for Chinese restaurants, where people have their reunion dinners and spring dinners.

“If the covid rules are to remain in place, restaurants in Hong Kong will record up to 90 percent business losses,” stressed Wong.

He added that for the past month, restaurants have been running on 50 percent capacity with the seating cap, and has been running smoothly with nothing gone sideways, suggesting the government to extend such measures with the evening din-in ban lifted.

“The government should also hand out more subsidies for restaurant owners, enabling them to afford the paychecks for their employees.”