18th October 2020 – (Hong Kong) Local social animals are taking advantage of the end of the summer to hold boat parties every weekend. As hotels start to clamp down on parties held in hotel rooms to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, yacht owners seem to be unperturbed by the social distancing rules and continue to hold boat parties oblivious to the epidemic. During the sunny afternoon today, many boats were spotted in Deep Water Bay, Repulse Bay and Sai Kung area.
A DJ was even hired to play music on a yacht joined together with two other yachts. Many champagne bottles in carton boxes were spotted on the deck and girls were dancing away without wear any masks.
We mentioned in an article on 16th October that many quarters are concerned that a cluster outbreak may occur during boat parties. In July, one patient went on a boat party during incubation period. More than 40 people were on the boat.
A local lawyer pointed out that the gathering ban only regulates the gathering of people in public places. People gathering on yachts are exempted as the yacht is considered a public space. However, if they leave the yachts to engage in water sports in the open sea, they will be restricted by the gathering ban and if there is an asymptomatic patient on board the yacht, everyone will be listed as close contacts as they are stranded in a tiny enclosed space for hours.
In the beginning of October, another massive boat party involving 150 people were organised. None of them was wearing any masks.
It is high time that the government should implement regulations to suspend boat parties during this epidemic period to prevent the situation from worsening.