Hong Kong bars, restaurants face more pain with return of COVID-19 curbs

Langfang1周前Technology212
Hong Kong bars, restaurants face more pain with return of COVID-19 curbs

HONG KONG: Hong Kong's bars, restaurants and caterers say tighter restrictions aimed at averting a new wave of COVID-19 infections may cause hundreds of millions of dollars in losses, threaten jobs and even, for some, their survival.

The global financial hub is one of the world's last holdouts sticking to a goal of stopping local transmission of the virus, deploying draconian and costly quarantine measures and largely isolating itself from the world.

But a streak of three months without community cases in Hong Kong ended with the confirmation on Dec 31 of the first local transmission of the Omicron variant - and numbers have been ticking up since then - prompting authorities to reinstate a raft of restrictions on daily life.

On Friday, 15 types of venues, including bars, clubs, gyms and beauty parlours had to close for at least two weeks. Restaurants can stay open until 6pm but are only allowed to offer takeaway service after that.

Hong Kong to ban dining in after 6pm, close pools, bars and gyms; introduce flight bans Hong Kong hunts COVID-19 patient's contacts, orders cruise ship back to port

A manager at the Sun Kong restaurant, which serves dim sum in a working-class neighbourhood, said staff usually got double their salary in the month before the Lunar New Year holiday, which begins on Feb 1.

But not this year.

"We'll be happy to get any salary this month," said the manager, who only gave his last name of Chan.

Tommy Cheung, a legislator representing the restaurant and catering industry, estimates businesses will lose up to HK$6 billion (US$770 million) in the next two weeks.

If restrictions are extended into the holiday period, when restaurants and caterers are usually most busy, their losses would be much bigger, he said. For some, the uncertainty is unbearable.

"If they can't see light at the end of the tunnel, restaurants will close," Cheung said.

Ben Leung, president of the Hong Kong Licensed Bar and Club Association, which represents about half of the city's 1,400 or so bars, clubs and karaoke venues, estimates losses of about HK$400 million in the next two weeks.

While he does not foresee closures, unless the restrictions last much longer, he says some of the 20,000 full-time jobs in the industry may be at risk.

Economists at BofA Securities estimate the restrictions could chop 0.1 to 0.2 percentage points off their first-quarter 2.4 per cent economic growth forecast if the measures extend into the Lunar New Year.

Jason Hui, who owns the Yuet Nam Mak Min noodle restaurant, expects to lose up to 40 per cent of his business but doubts the sacrifice will make much difference.

"It's no use," Hui said. "Is the virus only out at night?"

BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and its developments

相关文章

Chinas Tsinghua Unigroup says creditors back restructuring plan

Chinas Tsinghua Unigroup says creditors back restructuring plan

BEIJING :China's debt-laden Tsinghua Unigroup on Wednesday said creditors had backed a draft restruc...

How Indonesia, the worlds top thermal coal exporter, hit a supply crunch

How Indonesia, the worlds top thermal coal exporter, hit a supply crunch

JAKARTA: Indonesia, the world's biggest thermal coal exporter, sent shockwaves through global energy...

China anti-graft watchdog investigates China Life Insurance chairman

China anti-graft watchdog investigates China Life Insurance chairman

SHANGHAI: China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) has placed Wang Bin, the chair...

Chinas Didi plans Hong Kong listing by introduction, picks banks - sources

Chinas Didi plans Hong Kong listing by introduction, picks banks - sources

HONG KONG : China's ride-hailing giant Didi Global plans to use a mechanism that will allow it t...

From electric cars to smart homes: 4 tech trends that will invade our lives in 2022

From electric cars to smart homes: 4 tech trends that will invade our lives in 2022

Some trends for 2022 that tech companies are pushing are things you will have heard of before.A chie...

Vietnam 2021 exports up 19per cent, industrial output up 4.8per cent

Vietnam 2021 exports up 19per cent, industrial output up 4.8per cent

HANOI : Vietnam's exports in 2021 are expected to show a 19.0per cent rise to US$336.25 billion,...