Hundreds of revellers gathered in Lan Kwai Fong on Halloween night following the government’s relaxation on social distancing measures last week. Although there are sporadic Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong, party-goers continue to go out and celebrate the festival.
Lan Kwai Fong is Hong Kong’s traditional party hotspot as many bars, clubs and restaurants are located there. Due to COVID-19, the opening hours of catering business premises, including bars and pubs, have been shortened to end at 11:59pm in the past few weeks.
The government has eased certain social distancing measures, such as allowing catering business premises to operate till 1:59 am starting from October 30. The total number of people allowed in clubs and bars has also increased from 50 per cent to 75 per cent of the normal seating capacity or maximum capacity.
However, the mask-on policy and the prohibition of group gatherings over four people in public areas are still in effect, while parties of four or above are barred from seating together at one table within bars, pubs and clubs.
On Halloween night, many people disregarded the rule regarding public group gatherings in Lan Kwai Fong. A number of policemen implemented crowd control measures and reminded the general public about the regulations, but no penalty notices were issued.
A group of revellers wearing full sets of personal protective equipment said that they were not afraid of contracting the coronavirus as they were protecting themselves.
“I do not think the social distancing measures are effective, especially for tonight. The policemen did not try to enforce the rules and many people violated the measures,” said Winnie, one of the revellers.
According to Sophia Chan, the Secretary for Food and Health, authorities are aware that the general public did not follow the rules on Halloween. “If there are still many violations and people are not self-disciplined, government may further tighten the social-distancing measures to prevent the third wave of COVID-19 in Hong Kong,” Chan said.