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No new case again as bars, cinemas & other leisure venues reopen today

08 May 2020

By The SUN

Lan Kwai Fong is back in business tonight, with many bars offering huge discounts on drinks

Lan Kwai Fong is about to come alive again, as the order shutting down bars lapsed yesterday, paving the way for customers to start having a drink or two from tonight in Hong Kong’s favorite night spot.

But for some, the night won’t be the same as live entertainment and dancing in the pubs are for now, off the menu. So is karaoke.

This means many of the city’s entertainers, including the hundreds of Filipino musicians who have been jobless for more than a month now, still face a bleak future ahead.
For now, however, the mood across the city remains upbeat, as no new case of Covid-19 was reported again today, leaving the total tally still at 1,044.

It’s the 19th straight day that no local transmission has been reported. For 7 days in between, a small number of residents arriving from overseas were found infected on arrival at the airport, including 4 who flew in from Pakistan on Wednesday.

Apart from the bars, several other businesses that cater to large crowds were closed in two phases starting on Mar 28, when cinemas, gyms and four other establishments were shut. Bars and pubs followed on Apr 3, and karaokes and beauty and massage parlors a week later.
 
But live entertainment is still off the menu, causing worries for many Filipino musicians 

But even before the order to shut was issued, many bars were forced to close down after a big cluster of more than 100 cases were reported in LFK. Those affected included not just musicians, staff and customers, but also their families.

Speaking at a radio show on RTHK, the director of LKF Association, Anthea Cheung, said she doesn’t think the bars in the area will get busy soon as many people still avoid going to crowded places.

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Cheung said many bar owners are taking a wait-and-see attitude as they open to customers again after a gap of more than a month.

They are also taking no chances, having had their staff undergo rapid test for Covid-19 to ensure everyone is safe when they reopen.
The bars also have to conform to certain guidelines, like sitting only four people at each table, and taking in only half their regular capacity. Customers will also be required to wear a mask, except when eating or drinking.

Cheung said she hopes the bars will start getting a steady stream of customers soon so they can recover from the huge losses they incurred because of the pandemic.
She said at least four establishments in LKF had to close down after the outbreak became widespread.

To get business going, some bars are reportedly planning to offer drinks at half the price, or extend their happy hour at a much lower price.

Cinemas are offering the same deal, with half-price tickets costing as little as $33 in some districts.

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