Bars can 'do something else' after alcohol ban: CE - RTHK
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Bars can 'do something else' after alcohol ban: CE

2020-03-24 HKT 11:40
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  • Bars can 'do something else' after alcohol ban: CE
Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that when her ban on bars selling alcohol comes into force as part of measures to combat the spread of coronavirus, the establishments affected can "do something else" other than serving drinks.

Lam had announced on Monday that the government was working on amending the law to order bars and restaurants to temporarily stop selling alcohol, with the move to affect some 8,600 places with liquor licences. She said people have a habit of getting "a bit intimate" with other when they've been drinking, and this increases the risk of the virus spreading.

Ahead of this week's Executive Council meeting, the CE said she hopes people will cut down on their social activities and maintain social distancing before the legal changes can be put into place, noting that at least 10 of the recent confirmed Covid-19 cases involved people who had visited a bar.

“Of course one of the solutions is to close everything. The other is when bars can no longer sell alcohol, they can do something else, because we know a lot of bars have a restaurant licence," she said.

Lam said it will take a few days for research on the ban to be carried out, and she reiterated that her administration will continue to listen to differing viewpoints,

But the plan has been met with fierce criticism from those working in the hospitality industry.

Chin Chun-wing vice, chairman of the Hong Kong Bar & Club Association, told an RTHK programme on Tuesday morning that the proposed move had come out of the blue.

He said the news had left him upset and outraged, and that a lack of consultation on the matter shows disrespect for the bar industry.

Chin added that the government should be enforcing quarantine measures instead of targeting the bar industry.