'All dining in may be stopped if situation worsens'
Health Secretary Sophia Chan has said the government may require restaurants to stop dine-in services altogether and just do takeaways throughout the day if the Covid-19 situation gets worse.
Chan's comment comes after the government announced a number of anti-epidemic measures on Monday, including requiring eateries to halt dine-in services from 6pm to 5am.
Chan said the new measure is to encourage people to spend less time in restaurants and eat their meals at home.
But Simon Wong, the president of Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants, said barring people from visiting restaurants throughout the day would cause severe damage to the catering industry.
"We do understand that a lot of confirmed cases do come from restaurants or related business, but then if people cannot [go to] the restaurant to eat, even in day time, it would cause more... damage to the business," he said.
He said this could lead to many establishments going into a lockdown.
Wong said he believes even the partial dine-in ban will seriously affect half of the approximately 16,000 restaurants in the city, and cause a 35 to 40 percent plunge in sales for restaurants this month.