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Industry leader warns 3,000 restaurants on the verge of closure in HK

Industry leader from Hong Kong's dining sector warns that 3,000 restaurants would close for good, as the city extends another two weeks of social distancing measures that would cover the lucrative Chinese New Year.

Industry leader from Hong Kong’s dining sector warns that 3,000 restaurants would close for good, as the city extends another two weeks of social distancing measures that would cover the lucrative Chinese New Year.

Hong Kong is already two months into the extended social distancing regulation that requires restaurants to close after 6pm for dinner services, as well as halving dining capacity when open during the day.

The president of Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants and Related Trades, Simon Wong, said the city’s dining sector will miss out on HK$7 billion in February as a result of the regulation, that already dampened sales for Christmas and New Year.

People with face masks are seen ordering food at self-ordering kiosks in a restaurant in Admiralty, Hong Kong, amid the Coronavirus outbreak. (pic: iStock)

Some 3,000 restaurants are on the verge of closure, he warns, which is close to 20% of the city’s total number of 16,000 licensed restaurants.

“It is complete nonsense to lock down at night and allow people to dine out during the day,” Wong told RTHK’s Mike Weeks. “And then, as you say, there are many people walking on the street and visiting shopping malls and going to many tourist areas.

“They are very crowded, actually. But, probably, the government leaders don’t see this situation.”

The Hong Kong government fighting a new wave of infection announced on Monday that social distancing rules will be extended for another two weeks until February 17, which would cover Chinese New Year on February 12.

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