Man arrested for assaulting McDonald's staffer over contact-tracing app

Local | 20 Feb 2021 12:10 pm

A man who allegedly assaulted a restaurant staffer over disputes on the government’s contact-tracing app has been arrested.

On Thursday, police received a report at about 7am, in which a man was suspected of hitting a 26-year-old worker with his mobile phone at McDonald’s Choi Wan Estate branch in Ngau Chi Wan.

The assault happened when the worker tried to help the customer operate the government’s “Leave Home Safe” app, the use of which is now compulsory for many businesses.

Officers said they believe the suspect suffers from mental illness, and was unhappy when he was told to use the contact tracing app. He then got into quarrel with the victim and threw his phone at the staff's face, hurting his left eye corner. 

The male employee was conscious after the attack and sent to the United Christian Hospital for treatment.

The case was classified as assault occasioning bodily harm.

Officers said the man was arrested on Friday, and has since been released on bail. He had to report to police in March. 

The Hong Kong government lifted tough restrictions as caseloads slowed down in recent weeks. Under the relaxed rules, dine-in services at restaurants have extended from 6pm to 10pm, while the number of people per table has been raised from two to four. Other premises, including gyms, cinemas, beauty parlors and theme parks, have also reopened.

But patrons will have to download the government app to record the places they have been to, which will be stored in their mobile phones for 31 days. Or else, they must leave personal details for contact tracing through alternative methods.

Users will receive an alert if a case is confirmed at any of the venues they have visited.

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