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Thursday, Dec 08, 2022

Citizens flock to bars and karaoke lounges on the first day of reopening

Citizens flock to bars and karaoke lounges on the first day of reopening

Citizens flocked to bars and karaoke lounges on the first day of their long-awaited reopening on Thursday.
Some bars in Tsim Sha Tsui opened for business from midnight on Thursday for two hours of operation. Bars can have no more than four customers a table with a customer capacity of 75 percent. They can operate until 2am.

In Lan Kwai Fong, citizens were happy drinking in bars after work again as police and Tabacco and Alcohol Control Office staff patrolled the area.

Lan Kwai Fong Group chairman Allan Zeman said eight nightclubs in a building of his group were fully booked last night, as he expected business on Friday and weekend would be good.

Hong Kong Bar and Club Association representative Chan Hing said his bar had 60 to 70 percent bookings on the first day of reopening.

“We have some events and small themed parties for the reopening...and it's fully booked this weekend, with one customer booking in early April,” he said.

Regulated premises including bars, party rooms, karaoke lounges, mahjong lounges and bathhouses reopened in the second stage of social distancing relaxation on Thursday.

Restaurants can also offer dine-in services until midnight while eating and drinking are allowed in cinemas. Karaoke lounges and party rooms cannot have more than eight people in a room.

A queue was seen waiting outside a karaoke lounge in Mong Kok before it opened at 11am. Customers were also queuing at another karaoke lounge in Wan Chai from noon.

Lam Hon-yin, chairman of the Hong Kong Party Room Association, said some bigger rooms designed for groups of 30 to 40 guests have been renovated into smaller groups to fit authorities' cap of eight people in a room.

He also said some facilities will be closed like ball pits, and customers cannot have hot pot or barbecue.

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