With the rise of the coronavirus, it has been suggested that Hong Kong should induce an alcohol ban. Is this feasible? Will it have any impact at all?
Alcohol and social gatherings go hand in hand with each other. The biggest meetup locations in Hong Kong with expats are in the nightlife industry. Bars, restaurants and clubs that serve alcohol in these areas always attract a large crowd. Should we introduce an alcohol ban to try and compact the virus?
Coronavirus and Social Alcohol Activities
What has sparked the idea of an alcohol ban was the result of a picture that was posted. In the picture, many expats gathered in a popular drinking location. They were socializing with one another with alcoholic drinks and in a close proximity. None of them were wearing a mask and the majority were foreign. The picture did not go down well with the locals and it gave expats a bad name.
These locations had multiple links with the virus. News spread fast and the amount of infections in these places has put them in high alert. The government announced that the alcohol ban could be introduced soon. I believe it is to force people to practice social distancing, as these public locations are too populated with careless practices. The ban itself will affect around 8600 restaurants and bars across Hong Kong.
Will the ban actually work or will it just cause more distress with businesses?
Hong Kong: Alcohol Ban or Curfew?
I don’t believe an alcohol ban is the answer. Even though the practices that happen in alcoholic social gatherings is careless and not in consideration of the coronavirus pandemic, it won’t stop people socializing. Alcohol brings in big revenues for restaurants and bars, bannign them will cause huge amounts of stress on the businesses.
Lan Kwai Fong, the most popular location for bars, will be a ghost town if a ban was to be introduced. The coronavirus has hit High rent will cause these businesses to close down unless they can subsidy and support from the government. The industry will suffer from no alcohol sales.
I think a curfew should be in order. Simply stop orders after a certain time. In Scotland we can’t buy alcoholic drinks at a store between the times of 10pm – 10am. They should do something similar. Restrict how many can enter a bar and lower the maximum capacity rate. The ones who work in the nightlife industry are on shift and hourly wages. Will they get financial support? We need to think about what the effects will be before making such a decision. The coronavirus is serious but an alcohol ban in Hong Kong will cause too much distrress.
For more Hong Kong blogs: http://www.mrgregenglish.com/category/general/hong-kong/
Hong Kong coronavirus update: https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/index.html