'Alcohol ban like cutting toes to avoid sand bugs' - RTHK
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'Alcohol ban like cutting toes to avoid sand bugs'

2020-03-26 HKT 12:15
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  • 'Alcohol ban like cutting toes to avoid sand bugs'
The president of the Small and Medium Enterprises Association has likened a proposed ban on alcohol sales to “cutting toes to avoid sand bugs”, an idiom used to describe a costly solution that doesn’t address the real problem.

Pam Mak warned that the catering industry would have to bear the consequences of any alcohol ban, and that the Covid-19 outbreak has "annihilated" a number of SMEs.

Mak said while the government's HK$30 billion virus relief fund had benefited some sectors, like catering and tourism, other industries like legal, medical, beauty, and tutoring services have been left out.

She also called on the government to ease quarantine restrictions so that companies can send two employees to the mainland without them being required to be quarantined when they return.

Mak says such an exemption would not lead to a risk of widespread infection.

“We have to put some restrictions for them, let’s say every week we can allow them to go there one time, and only two designated persons, maybe the driver and the management, and make sure they have their own car from point to point."

"In other words, they are not going to take any public transportation, and they have to return on the same day,” she said.

Mak also urged the government to give more aid to businesses, and said they should consider allowing foreign governments to provide funding for local SMEs. But she didn't elaborate on this.