For Immediate Release
The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce welcomes the Government’s decision to extend the existing 6pm curfew to 10pm and to relax the number of diners per table to 4.
The decision is expected to provide some respite to the food and beverage (F&B) industry, which has been struggling to stay afloat. The latest round of restrictions, which have been in place since November last year, are beginning to take a toll.
According to a survey conducted by the Chamber early this month in partnership with the Save HK F&B Alliance and Institution of Dining Arts, nearly 60% of respondents said they are likely to go out of business over the next 3 months if the current social distancing restrictions were to continue.
More than half of the respondents also indicated that they were willing to implement a range of health and safety measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in a trade-off for the relaxation of social-distancing restrictions.
Although many operators have pivoted to takeaways and food deliveries, these are not enough to offset the loss of dine-in business. Similarly, in kind assistance and financial support whether from landlords or the Government were regarded as inadequate with many respondents reporting losses despite receiving such aid.
The industry is prepared to assume responsibility for ensuring that infections are kept to a minimum through proactive measures such as being subjected to regular inspections, adopting a certification system, enforcement of mask-on requirement, and mandated contact tracing, among other undertakings. These should help persuade the Government to adopt a less restrictive approach should there be a resurgence in cases.
A total of 308 responses was received for the survey exercise, which was conducted between 1 and 8 February 2021.
Media inquiries: Please contact Ms Mabel Chan at 2823-1278 / firstname.lastname@example.org