3rd August 2020 – (Hong Kong) The COVID-19 epidemic in Hong Kong is still raging. The Hong Kong government has extended the anti-epidemic ban for another 7 days, 14 types of listed premises will continue to be closed, and restaurants will still maintain a ban on night-time dine-in services, and only two people are allowed per table during day time.
Simon Wong Ka Wo, Chairman of Hong Kong Food Council said that since the ban on dine-in services at night, the business of the catering industry has fallen by as much as 80%. Even if it is possible to do take-out business, the business has been difficult to improve significantly. There are 35% of restaurants who have chosen to suspend their businesses and it is estimated that most restaurants will only be able to support themselves for more than one to two weeks.
Simon Wong said that although the restaurants has resumed daytime dine-in services, most of them can only rely on takeaway due to limited seats. This week was even worse. He pointed out that 35% of restaurants have simply closed their business, especially banquet restaurants. He also pointed out that the summer vacation was originally the prime time for the catering industry. In addition to the summer vacation for students, it is usually the peak tourist season, but this year the situation is stark contrast to the past. He hopes that the government will provide further subsidies, otherwise the industry will only shrink further.
Ms. Lo, secretary of LICENSED AMUSEMENT GAME CENTRES TRADE ASSOCIATION LIMITED said that the industry is currently in dire straits. Although there was a one-time subsidy of HK$100,000 earlier, large game machine centre with 300 game machines has to pay monthly rent as high as HK$300,000 and the subsidy is not enough to pay the rent even for one month. It is undoubtedly worse to extend the ban further. Some have to take loans to survive.
Regarding the bar industry, vice chairman of the Hong Kong Bar & Club Association said that the industry has previously received about HK$380,000 anti-epidemic fund, and most can barely last until September at this stage. He pointed out that after the business resumed for a while earlier in June, the industry had a brief period of “recovery”, but the third round of the epidemic hit again, and the industry was again impacted. He urged the government to launch the third round of subsidy as soon as possible.