Lamma beach partygoers escape police penalty

Money glitz | Maisy Mok 1 Feb 2021

More than 30 people were seen drinking and socializing in groups of more than two - most of them not wearing a mask, at a Lamma beach at the weekend but police did not take any action, a reader of The Standard said.

The witness, who did not wish to be named, said he saw a big party outside the Bay restaurant at Mo Tat Wan on Lamma Island, despite the government sealing off beaches and the social gathering ban on more than two people.

He provided photos of people at a party socializing in groups of three or more.

"I am worried that restaurants on Lamma Island are not following rules and putting residents and visitors in danger," he said.

He said the people were drinking and had blocked the pathway to the ferry pier.

Police who came to the beach said they could not do anything about it, the reader said, and the group continued drinking after 6pm.

"This restaurant had done it before because the owner, Mr Raymond Chan, is a village representative and thinks the law does not apply to him. Many people who live here are worried they will bring Covid-19 here," he said.

Chan yesterday confirmed that he is one of the representatives of the Mo Tat Wan beach, but insisted it does not belong to the restaurant.

"They are doing their own free activities on the beach," Chan said. "The restaurant does not have any parties."

He added the restaurant enforced the policy of two persons sharing a table and customers could opt to eat at the beach.

A police spokesman said Cheung Chau police division received a complaint at 2.30pm on Saturday on a suspected case of group gathering violation outside a restaurant at Mo Tat Wan.

There were about 20 people at the scene and all had maintained appropriate social distancing, he said. "They all wore masks so police did not issue any tickets during inspection," the spokesman said.

All gazetted beaches have been closed since December 10 amid the pandemic.

But Mo Tat Wan beach is not among the 41 public beaches managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, according to its website.

Meanwhile, a 28-year-old man and his girlfriend, 24, got into a dispute with 12 hikers after the group allegedly shone torchlights while the couple were chatting in their car. It was parked near the mountain peak on Fei Ngo Shan Road in Wong Tai Sin at around midnight.

The man called police, who listed the case as a dispute. Police then fined the hikers - nine men and three women, aged 24 to 46 - HK$5,000 each for violating the group gathering ban.

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