Hong Kong’s most known nightlife entrepreneur, Allan Zeman, revealed that about 35% of the city’s bars had shut doors because of the pandemic and prolonged government ban on operation.
Zeman, chairman of Lan Kwai Fong Group, said about 35% of the bar industry had closed and many staff had been laid off as bar owners ran out of money.
“They’ve been, now, closed since November. That’s going on for six months,” Zeman told RTHK. “No business I know can survive without having any customers and being closed for so long, especially without any subsidies for them.”
Hong Kong government this week has announced that it will loosen social distancing restrictions starting from April 1, including opening up beaches, swimming pools and expanding capacity at cinemas etc, but it left out bars.
Since November last year, the government has ordered bars, nightclubs and karaoke lounges to close, with live music performances also banned.
According to Hong Kong Bar and Club Association, about 140 establishments closed doors last year, and another 70 bars folded business after Chinese New Year this year.
Bars with restaurant license are able to re-open as government loosened up restrictions on dining. However, many with limited subsidy and prolonged business operation ban are on the verge of closing for good.