Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, USA
Hong Kong
News Release



Latest directions under Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation

 



For more information, please contact

Melissa Ng in New York City: (212) 752 3320
Wing Yan Tong in San Francisco: (415) 835 9315

Daniel McAtee in Washington, D.C.: (202) 238 6360




April 2, 2020 - In view of the emergence of 62 confirmed COVID-19 cases related to the bar and band cluster with further spread to additional 14 secondary, tertiary and quaternary cases (including a 40-day old infant) who had not visited any bar, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government will introduce new measures to regulate businesses that sell or supply intoxicating liquors for on-site consumption.  In accordance with the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (The Regulation) (Cap. 599F), the Secretary for Food and Health (SFH) has issued directions through notices in the Gazette today (April 2) to be effective for 14 days from 6pm on April 3, 2020 (i.e. till 5.59pm on April 17), such that –

  1. any premises (commonly known as bar or pub) that is exclusively or mainly used for the sale or supply of intoxicating liquors as defined in section 53(1) of the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance (Cap. 109) (“intoxicating liquors”) for consumption in that premises must be closed;

  2. any part of a catering business premise that is exclusively or mainly used for the sale or supply of intoxicating liquors for consumption in that part must be closed; and

  3. any area in a club-house that is exclusively or mainly used for the sale or supply of intoxicating liquors for consumption in that area must be closed.

A spokesperson for the Food and Health Bureau reminds the persons responsible for carrying on the catering business and the managers of scheduled premises that contravening the above requirements would be a criminal offence. Offenders are subject to a maximum fine of HK$50,000 (US$6,410) and imprisonment for six months.  

The spokesperson said that the Government has been reviewing the feasibility of relevant measures and will make timely adjustments in view of the latest developments of the disease.  The above directions could help further enhance social distancing. 

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) urges members of the public to go out less and avoid social activities such as meal gatherings or other gatherings and maintain an appropriate social distance with other people as far as possible.

The CHP also strongly urges the public to maintain at all times strict personal and environmental hygiene, which is key to personal protection against infection and prevention of the spread of the disease in the community.  On a personal level, members of the public should wear surgical masks when having respiratory symptoms, taking public transport or staying in crowded places. They should also perform hand hygiene frequently, especially before touching the mouth, nose or eyes.

The Department of Health will closely monitor the situation.  Any updates will be issued through the media, the Government's “COVID-19 Thematic Website”  (www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/index.html) and the DH’s webpage (www.gov.hk/ncv). 


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