Hong Kong Made a U-Turn on Dine-in Ban As People Have No Place to Have Their Lunch

Hong Kong has recently implemented a series of restrictions that sounds suspiciously like a lockdown on 29 Jul 2020.

  • Gatherings are restricted to two people
  • Everyone must put on a mask when they’re in public spaces—even in a covered outdoor area.
  • Dine-in would be banned
  • All sports premises and swimming pools would be shut down

And they’ve run into the same problem that Singapore did when we first went into Circuit Breaker.

Namely, people had no place to eat at.

However, while Singapore continued enforcing the “No Eating Outside” route, Hong Kong decided to make a U-turn instead.

Pictures Of Blue-Collar Workers Eating On The Streets Go Viral

In Hong Kong, when the ban on dine-in kicked in, these scenes could be seen repeated throughout the city:

Cleaners, construction workers and other blue-collar workers eating their meal while cowering from the rain or sweating it out in the hot weather.

And just like Singapore, office workers can buy food back to their desks to eat, but not the blue-collar workers.

Immense Backlash From The Move

Ng Wai-leung, Rights and Complaints Officer from Hong Kong Construction Industry Employees General Union said that the workers and cleaners were forced to take their lunch breaks in the hot weather.

As this forces them to gather together, it’ll make them more vulnerable to Covid-19, he pointed out.

When Sophia Chan, Secretary for Food and Health said workers can go to the park and sit at appropriate safe distances, Ng said the issue isn’t about them eating along the street, it’s about them having no shelter from the heat and dust.

Wu Mei-lin, Director of the Cleaning Workers Union also slammed the Hong Kong government for their latest restriction, saying that restaurants can be made to follow safe distancing measures like the exempted canteens.

The dine-in ban excludes hospital and police canteens.

It was also pointed out that for blue-collar workers, lunch hour isn’t just about food. It’s also about letting the workers sit down and rest in an air-conditioned space, given how the rest of their workday is spent standing or walking for long hours out in the heat.

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Hong Kong Made a U-Turn on Dine-in Ban

So one day after the restrictions kicked in, the Hong Kong government decided to make some changes to the restrictions.

According to RTHK, restaurants are allowed to serve customers during breakfast and lunchtime from Friday.

However, there are some terms and conditions:

  • Each table is only limited to two people
  • Restaurants can only have accommodate half of their usual seating capacity
  • Tables must be 1.5 metres part

Ban on dine-in after 6pm will remain.

On 29 Jul 2020, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has also told citizens to obey the new restrictions that kicked into place.

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She said that if people do not play their part, it could lead to a serious outbreak which could collapse Hong Kong’s hospital system and kill a lot of people.

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