Representatives of the catering sector said they welcome the government’s decision to relax some social distancing restrictions, saying being able to host bigger banquets will boost their business considerably.
Starting Thursday, banquets of up to 240 people – double the current capacity – will be allowed. Restaurants can also seat 12 instead of eight diners at a table.
Simon Wong, who chairs the Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants, says Chinese restaurants are expecting at least a 30 percent jump in business.
"Normally from October to the end of the year, we have a lot of banquet business. And before, because of the social distancing measures and other restrictions we were not able to do big banquets. But now the measures have been relaxed and we anticipate that the business will recover very soon," he said.
Catering sector lawmaker Tommy Cheung, meanwhile, said while restaurants are expecting to fare better, there's room for the government to further ease Covid curbs for the catering industry, noting that the rapid test requirement at bars and nightclubs may still affect their business.
The legislator also urged the government to allow these venues to resume live performances, as long as the musicians wear a mask.