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Photograph: TA

Recent dine-in ban reversed as workers reduced to eating at the roadside

The government reverses the blanket ban on dine-in that took effect on July 29, following public outcry

Sam Evans
Written by
Sam Evans

From Friday, July 31, the government will reverse the blanket dine-in ban in restaurants that came into effect on Wednesday, July 29, as the public reacts to blue-collar workers around the city who have subsequently been forced to eat their lunch in uncomfortable conditions. Many of the city's construction and other workers were seen on Wednesday and Thursday eating their lunches under bridges, at transport interchanges, and in air-conditioned public corridors in lieu of the cafes they have traditionally frequented on their lunch break. 

The government initially responded to the situation by announcing it would open 19 community halls on Thursday, July 30, for those who had nowhere to go to eat lunch. In a similar vein, KMB and Pricerite launched initiatives to lend chairs to workers to sit on while eating their lunch, at Jordan (West Kowloon station), Tuen Mun station, and Tai Wai station bus terminals; and Pricerite's 18 branches across the city, respectively.

The reversed regulations will allow restaurants to operate at a maximum of 50 percent capacity during day time dine-in until 6pm, with a maximum of two people per table. Patrons can only purchase food to takeaway from 6pm onwards. 

If you have questions about the latest social distancing restrictions and rules on public gatherings, visit our regularly updated guide on the things you can and can't do in Hong Kong right now

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