By Shirley Lau
Hong Kong, Jul 29 (efe-epa).- At 5.57pm on Tuesday in Hong Kong, a masked waiter at a restaurant in the Asian city’s core business district told several tables of wine-sipping guests: “You have three more minutes. Enjoy while it lasts.”
When the clock struck 6pm, everyone stood up and reluctantly headed for the exit.
Some hugged and said to each other: “Take care. See you soon, hopefully.”
In the face of rising coronavirus infections, Hong Kong authorities announced further restrictions on Monday, including a ban on restaurant dining, reducing public gatherings from four to two people and mandatory face masks in all public places, indoor and outdoor.
Even joggers have to don a mask while running.
Offenders breaching the new rules, which took effect at midnight on Wednesday and will last at least seven days, face a fine of up to US$640.
The city has a strong restaurant culture and more than 16,000 eateries.
In mid-July, the government imposed a ban on eating out from 6pm every day.
At midday on Wednesday office workers queued outside restaurants to get takeaway food.