Group Gathering Prohibition Index (GGPI)

 
 

Jul 23, 2021 Dr Tung-fai Cheung, Spokesman of Alliance of Revitalizing Economy and Livelihood, observed, “Daily life in Hong Kong is somewhat going back to normal. Streets and restaurants...Read More are bustling, meaning that peoples are less cautious than before. These scenes contrast sharply with existing group gathering bans. As the pandemic situation of the surrounding areas remains, there is little chance of out-bound traffic in the near future. However, when Hong Kong peoples have to shop and dine locally, they may risk breaking the law. If our government does not take heed of public concerns, how can it lead us out of the deadlock?” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jul 22, 2021 On the implementation of group gathering bans, Vice Chairman of The Hong Kong Chamber of Education Centres Yam Wai Ho observed, “On the 17th of this month, the police conducted ...Read Morean inter-departmental blitz lockdown operation outside a restaurant in Causeway Bay. They issued penalty tickets to 229 people at the scene with a total fine of more than a million dollar. If the government just wants to reduce the risk of infection, is it necessary for the police to spend so much time and effort? In fact, is it possible to just send two to three police officers to remind people of the need to comply with the group gathering ban before issuing the penalty tickets? On the other side of Wan Chai District, there was a book fair going on many thousand times more crowded. This may make people feel that ‘only the state officials are free to set fires, while common people are forbidden to even light a lamp.’” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jul 21, 2021 Dr Tung-fai Cheung, Spokesman of Alliance of Revitalizing Economy and Livelihood, observed, “Grand events keep coming with the start of summer holiday. Hong Kong Book Fair just ended after 7 days...Read More of exhibition where the number of visitors fell slightly below last time. Luckily there was no COVID-19 case related to the event and could therefore be considered as having ‘passed’ the test. The procedures of crowd control and tracing, as well as allowing convenient access for those vaccinated, have provided a good reference for social gathering controls in business activities. The only difference is that there were significantly fewer exhibitors and visitors coming from mainland China, so it would still be a long time before the ‘bubble’ of Hong Kong would merge with the ‘bubble’ of mainland China.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jul 20, 2021 Ben Leung Lap-yan, Charter President of the Licensed Bar and Club Association of Hong Kong proposes, “The catering industry considers current group gathering restrictions and measures acceptable. ...Read MoreThe number of people allowed per table and the total number of people per event are increased according to the level of vaccination and the use of the ‘LeaveHomeSafe’ mobile app. Although it is not yet relaxed to the normal level, it has helped the overall business environment. For the bar and karaoke industry, requiring guests to be vaccinated before entering the premises is still a heavy restriction, so there is still a long road to recovery. In response to the emergence of different types of viruses around the world, although there are no more local cases, the number of imported cases per day is still high. The government has not relaxed the restrictions for three consecutive weeks, and it seems unlikely to be changed until the vaccination coverage reaches over half or 70%. To sum up, provided that the government strengthens the border control, it would be possible to further relax the anti-pandemic measures and group gathering restrictions.” Special Announcement
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Jul 19, 2021 Vice Chairman of The Hong Kong Chamber of Education Centres Yam Wai Ho observed, “Starting today, UK has lifted all quarantine requirements on citizens who have completed the vaccination. ...Read MoreThis move would definitely let her tourism, commerce and related industries recover quickly. Although the number of newly confirmed cases in UK is still close to 50,000 every day, she no longer uses it as a basis for enforcing epidemic prevention measures. Looking back at Hong Kong, we are still fixated at ‘zero infection’, meaning that we would be extremely nervous even for one single confirmed case. Aren’t we falling behind in our mindset about epidemic prevention?” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jul 16, 2021 Dr Tung-fai Cheung, Spokesman of Alliance of Revitalizing Economy and Livelihood, observed, “There is less news about local COVID-19 compared with one month ago. On the other hand, ‘vaccination’ and ‘border crossing (to mainland)’ ...Read Morehave been mentioned much more. Our Chief Executive said there are 2 prerequisites for crossing border quarantine waiver: 1) over 70% of vaccine coverage, and 2) maintain the strategy of ‘preventing the importation of cases’, thereby skilfully placing vaccination and border crossing in a causal relationship. However, to the tourism industry, 70% looks more like the current unemployment rate. The government officials see the figures, but the industry sees the doom.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jul 15, 2021 Vice Chairman of The Hong Kong Chamber of Education Centres Yam Wai Ho observed, “Last year due to the epidemic, the government first postponed the book fair and then...Read More cancelled it. As many publishers actually rely on the annual book fair to maintain their income, many publishers have disappeared this year. The Anti-epidemic Fund for the culture and publishing industry was deadly insufficient last year. This is definitely a blow to the education sector, because the number of books available for educational institutions and parents has now diminished.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jul 14, 2021 Dr Tung-fai Cheung, Spokesman of Alliance of Revitalizing Economy and Livelihood, observed, “Hong Kong Book Fair is the first grand event in the summer holiday, it would bring a big challenge of crowd control during ...Read MoreCOVID times. Traditionally, the period from August each year to the next lunar new year is the golden season for the retail industries. The fortune of retail business will critically depend on how practical the government is, and whether it would relax the group gathering ban. Our Chief Executive has pointed out that Hong Kong is getting more experienced and capable in coping with COVID-19, why do we still need strict gathering control?” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jul 13, 2021 Professor Meanne Chan, Associate professor (Research) of WoFoo Joseph Lee Consulting and Counselling Psychology Research Centre in Lingnan University, observed, “Multiple misconceptions about vaccination circulates ...Read Morein popular culture and society. Getting vaccinated because of fear of contagion compared to a general inclination to return to normality are not only different social drivers, but could also have different biological consequences. Studies in behavioral medicine about immunity have demonstrated that stress could directly impact antibody production after a vaccine, greatly reducing the effectiveness. While figures have indicated that the Hong Kong people are currently under multiple sources of stress, policy makers can consider the social, economical, and political environment during vaccination to optimize vaccine efficacy, in addition to the usual concern of vaccine uptake.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jul 12, 2021 Vice Chairman of The Hong Kong Chamber of Education Centres Yam Wai Ho observed, “The Singaporean government renamed ‘travel bubble’ to ‘travel corridor’ the day before yesterday. The name is now different from ...Read Morethat of Hong Kong’s mutual tourism border crossing arrangements. Singapore says ‘bubble’ is easy to burst, so it needs to find a more appropriate term. Hong Kong now has ‘travel bubble’ and ‘vaccine bubble’. Would the government consider changing the term ‘bubble’? More importantly, the vaccine approved by Singapore is already different from that of Hong Kong starting last week. Sinovac vaccine is no longer recognized, so the ‘travel bubble’ arrangement is now facing big trouble. It is very likely that only BioNTech vaccinators would be allowed to enter Singapore, while more countries are not recognizing Sinovac. Those who had taken Sinovac vaccines might have done it for nothing.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jul 9, 2021 KC Poon, researcher from the CHINAT Monitor, observed, “Although there have been zero local COVID confirmed cases in Hong Kong for 30 consecutive days, the latest social distancing measures have ...Read Moreonly been relaxed very slightly relaxed. Group gathering ban, mask order and social distancing measures in catering outlets have not been changed. The existing requirements and restrictions for the catering business remain the same. It seems that current impractical and ‘off-the-ground’ arrangements will only be fine-tuned selectively and ploddingly. I hope the public would continue to tolerate them and refrain from making unreasonable objections.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jul 8, 2021 Vice Chairman of The Hong Kong Chamber of Education Centres Yam Wai Ho observed, “The Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung said last week that the government is studying whether or not to resume...Read More full-day classes in secondary schools after the vaccination rate reaches a certain level. After a year and a half of the epidemic, some parents have gradually believed that half-day classes are more suitable for their children, because they could have more time in the afternoon to do their homework, revisions and participate in extracurricular activities outside schools. If these parents think that vaccination is unnecessary, they may not let their children get vaccinated. I think the Secretary needs to respond to the demands of these parents.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jul 7, 2021 Dr Tung-fai Cheung, Spokesman of Alliance of Revitalizing Economy and Livelihood, observed, “For peoples who live and run business in Hong Kong,...Read More group gathering ban (GGB) has become part of life, and will continue to be an essential feature in the foreseeable future. People’s persistent objection to GGB from the community will be a norm as long as our government insists the relatively restricted GGB. Those industries and groups more affected by GGB are still obedient, but they will have to make the very best use of the grey areas in order to survive.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jul 6, 2021 Vice Chairman of The Hong Kong Chamber of Education Centres Yam Wai Ho observed, “The Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung pointed out last Saturday that ...Read Morefull-day classes could be resumed after the vaccination rate in secondary schools reaches a certain level. I believe that the parents would like the Secretary to negotiate with the experts to set a reasonable and achievable target vaccination rate, so that most secondary schools can resume normal full-day operations in September. As for primary schools and kindergartens, because of age problem, the Secretary said that it could only maintain half-day operation in the new school year. In that case, the parents would be quite disappointed that their primary school and kindergarten children cannot return to full-day classes before the pandemic disappears.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jul 5, 2021 KC Poon, researcher from the CHINAT Monitor, observed, “The Hong Kong government is eager to implement the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau cross-border travelling, but ...Read Moreunfortunately, a suspected local case has appeared and added uncertainty to it. In fact, the epidemic in Hong Kong has recent subsided, but the government has insisted on keeping the group gathering at four people, while hastily arranging for the implementation of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau cross-border travelling. This makes people doubt the real purpose of the ‘group gathering ban’. I hope the government would carefully examine the impact of the restriction on public life and quickly bring Hong Kong back to its prosperous track.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jul 2, 2021 KC Poon, researcher from the CHINAT Monitor, observed, “The government announced the relaxation of some epidemic prevention measures with effect from 24 June. ...Read More Religious gatherings, wedding ceremonies where no food or drink is served and annual general meetings of shareholders will be relaxed to 50% of the venue capacity, or 100% if 2/3 of the attendees have received one dose of vaccine; local tours will also be relaxed to 100 persons; restaurants maintain the A/B/C/D model, but the maximum number of persons per table for Category C restaurants (where staff have received one dose of vaccination) was increased from half of the seating capacity to 75%; the maximum number of persons per table for Category D restaurants (where staff have received two doses of vaccination for 14 days and 2/3 of customers have received one dose of vaccination) was increased from 75% to 100%, and the maximum number of persons per table relaxed to 12, while the number of persons at banquets was relaxed to 180; the maximum number of persons per table in bars and nightclubs was relaxed to 4; the maximum number of persons per table in party rooms and karaoke rooms was relaxed to 8; the maximum number of persons in public and private swimming pools is relaxed from 30% to 50% of the current capacity; all members of training groups in fitness centres can exercise without mask if they have been vaccinated and there is sufficient distance between them; the group gathering prohibition limit was maintained at 4 persons. I think the government’s selective approach to the relaxation of some epidemic prevention measures has left many in the catering industry helpless. I hope the government would relax the restrictions again before re-opening the Hong Kong-Macau border, so that all trades and industries in Hong Kong can get back on track.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jun 30, 2021 Dr Tung-fai Cheung, Spokesman of Alliance of Revitalizing Economy and Livelihood, observed, “As I said before, vaccination coverage and crossing border...Read More quarantine waiver are the two key issues of relieving people’s livelihood, and they are like chicken and egg. The business sector has already provided a lot of incentives for vaccination, while the government fine-tunes the quarantine requirements of cross-border travelling, these are what Hong Kong peoples want to see. The public now needs to be very careful about the mutant virus, while the government needs to carefully regulate the inflow of people from high-risk areas. We are just seeing the light of hope, so the government, the commercial sector and the people must learn the lessons together to keep our ship afloat. As a matter of fact, Hong Kong can no longer afford to be hit by another wave of pandemic.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jun 29, 2021 Vice Chairman of The Hong Kong Chamber of Education Centres Yam Wai Ho observed, “Although the mutated virus has recently been widely discussed in...Read More the community, there seems no sign of its spread, so the public need not worry too much. Last Thursday the government relaxed the restrictions, but there has not been any surge in economic activities. I believe it is because the extent of the relaxation was too small, and the government’s aim was just to increase vaccination coverage, not to revive the economy. The industry does not want to see this.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jun 28, 2021 KC Poon, researcher from the CHINAT Monitor, observed, “The catering industry considers the government’s policy which started last Thursday (24th) to be a strategic move only....Read More There are less than 1,000 Category C restaurants and only 19 Category D restaurants, accounting for only 5% to 6% of the total number of restaurants in Hong Kong. If the government does not relax Category A and B restaurants, it is practically the same as no relaxation at all. If full vaccination is needed before full relaxation for the entire industry, it would be seen as purely a vaccination drive and the industry would be rather discontented.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jun 25, 2021 KC Poon, researcher from the CHINAT Monitor, observed, “The Hong Kong government’s relaxation of quarantine on tourists has led to the re-emergence of mutated viruses. Its failure ...Read Moreto learn from the mistakes of itself and others is the reason. The government now has no way to escape responsibility, it must review the loopholes and strengthen border inspections in order to prevent further infections.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jun 24, 2021 Vice Chairman of The Hong Kong Chamber of Education Centres Yam Wai Ho observed, “There was a suspected case of local infection yesterday, which may put an end to the many days of zero ...Read Morelocal infection. In any case, more than 90% of citizens still consider current gathering restrictions too tight, probably because people think that a few isolated cases would not lead to large scale infection, and that the current restriction measures are already sufficient. Some people may think that the new suspected case is related to the relaxation measures announced on Monday, the fact is that such measures would only be implemented today so the two are not related. The public needs not feel too worried.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jun 23, 2021 Dr Tung-fai Cheung, Spokesman of Alliance of Revitalizing Economy and Livelihood, observed, “This Monday, the government relaxed some of the anti-epidemic measures and lifted the maximum number of ...Read More customers allowed in various catering premises. This is an encouragement for the catering industry although the proportion of restaurants benefiting from it is small. Furthermore, the government would also shorten the quarantine period for arriving people who are fully vaccinated and who satisfy antibodies checks. This is one step towards normal life. The government should quickly establish effective communication channels with authorities of surrounding areas, and along with defences like ‘vaccine passports’ and ‘health codes’, prevent the reappearance of imported cases.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jun 22, 2021 Vice Chairman of The Hong Kong Chamber of Education Centres Yam Wai Ho observed, “The government finally announced yesterday that it would relax its anti-epidemic measures, which it...Read More should have been done a long time ago. However, the industry generally does not have much response, as the relaxation is so little. Restaurants still have to maintain four complicated classifications, only the most demanding Categories C and D are relaxed, but they are too difficult to achieve anyway. Moreover, the restrictions on bars and karaoke are still very tight, the new measures can help very little. As a matter of fact, there was zero local confirmed case in the community for many days, I think the epidemic prevention arrangements can definitely be relaxed a lot more, so that the people can live a more normal life.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jun 21, 2021 KC Poon, researcher from the CHINAT Monitor, observed, “The fourth wave of the epidemic in Hong Kong is coming to an end. The once suspended non-scheduled...Read More medical consultation service is gradually returning to normal as the epidemic subsides. However, family members of some hospitalized chronically ill patients said that it was very inhumane for the government not to relax the visiting arrangements. I hope the government would consider allowing those family members who have received two doses of vaccine to visit these hospitalized patients under some restricted conditions.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jun 18, 2021 KC Poon, researcher from the CHINAT Monitor, observed, “The fourth wave of the epidemic in Hong Kong is coming to an end. The once suspended non-scheduled...Read More medical consultation service is gradually returning to normal as the epidemic subsides. However, family members of some hospitalized chronically ill patients said that it was very inhumane for the government not to relax the visiting arrangements. I hope the government would consider allowing those family members who have received two doses of vaccine to visit these hospitalized patients under some restricted conditions.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jun 17, 2021 Vice Chairman of The Hong Kong Chamber of Education Centres Yam Wai Ho observed, “The Education Bureau is consulting the schools, trying to arrange medical...Read More staff to vaccinate the students in schools, but it would be quite challenging. As the decision to require students to be vaccinated is quite controversial, many parents may not feel comfortable in letting their children get vaccinated. If parents know that it was the school which arranges medical staff to vaccinate the students, they might feel annoyed. It is therefore better to let parents themselves take their students to get vaccinated.”
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Jun 16, 2021 Dr Tung-fai Cheung, Spokesman of Alliance of Revitalizing Economy and Livelihood, observed, “The government officials have apparently relaxed their strict approach and proposed to reduce or waive...Read More some quarantine measures when people travel out of Hong Kong, provided that they have vaccinated and doubly tested negative in COVID-19 tests, which would become the new norm. The government would also relax the group gathering ban when the vaccination coverage is relatively adequate to protect the local community. These measures could really rescue the local economy and people’s livelihood. We hope the government would make good preparations to implement these plans pragmatically, including to proactively liaise with the governments of the surrounding regions, to enhance the records of tests and vaccination, and to work well to match with other authorities in ironing out the technical details.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jun 15, 2021 Vice Chairman of The Hong Kong Chamber of Education Centres Yam Wai Ho observed, “With such a remarkably low number of daily infected cases, it is no longer necessary for ...Read Morethe government to continue the gathering restriction measures. Because there is almost no infected person in the community, it is already sufficient and effective to prevent the pandemic by controlling the border properly, in order to stop any infected person from entering the community.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jun 11, 2021 KC Poon, researcher from the CHINAT Monitor, observed, “The government has been very successful in preventing the mutated virus from entering Hong Kong through foreign visitors. It is time to relax the group ...Read Moregathering ban by raising the gathering limit. However, the catering industry is very unhappy with the government’s arrangement for ABCD zones. They think the design is confusing, illogical and impractical. Since 29 April, only a minority of the industry has been able to set up D Zones. The catering industry is now facing a greater risk of collapse. I suggest the government to follow the public’s wish to adjust its policies without delay.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jun 10, 2021 Vice Chairman of The Hong Kong Chamber of Education Centres Yam Wai Ho observed, “A few days ago there was an imported confirmed case leaked into the community, reflecting a huge loophole in the government’s cross-border epidemic...Read Moreprevention arrangements. These measures must be reviewed so as to reduce the chance of leaking even one confirmed case, because we just cannot afford another wave of outbreak. Because multiple waves of outbreaks are invariably caused by imported cases, as long as a government controls the border properly, we would be able to relax the restrictions on gatherings and loosen the ties on Hong Kong’s economy. The South Korean government is discussing the implementation of tourism bubbles with other countries, studying on how to allow vaccinated people move in and out of the country. The Hong Kong Government should join the negotiations and seize the opportunity to revitalize our tourism industry, and to let Hong Kong people travel around to catch some breath.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jun 9, 2021 Dr Tung-fai Cheung, Spokesman of Alliance of Revitalizing Economy and Livelihood, observed, “To many hopeless members of the tourism industry, self-help local tours have become their final struggle. They are not too worried about recent outbreaks in Guangzhou ...Read Moreand Shenzhen because the mainland government has been quite efficient and experienced in dealing with the situation. However, they are rather disappointed at Hong Kong government’s failure in organizing the vaccination campaign. They urge our government to step up the coverage of vaccination, otherwise we would not see any quarantine exemption for cross boundary activity this year, but only the doomsday of the tourism trade.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jun 8, 2021 Vice Chairman of Young Innovative Entrepreneurs Association, Benjamin Yeung observed, “The Government announced earlier to further extend all social distancing measures, applicable to the catering ...Read Morebusiness and scheduled premises including sports premises. The government also extended the requirements for group gatherings and mask wearing. I consider the current measures for ‘sports premises’ too tight. For some high-intensity trainers and coaches, a 4-person training group or class requiring everyone to wear a mask throughout the training is really unbearable, and there is also the chance of suffocation. I suggest relaxing these strict rules and restrictions to cover only classes of 8 people or more.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jun 7, 2021 Joel Wang, member from Tin Shui Wai Community Concern Group observed, “The new round of mutated virus started in the Tin Shui Wai community, making many residents in Tin Shui Wai worried. ...Read MoreBoth the government and the public should take note of this. I would suggest the government suspend the scheme of Return2hk and the public reduce unnecessary activities, and if they really have to go out, they should honestly report the information to the ‘Leave Home Safe’ system so that the government can have accurate information to formulate appropriate policies. Although we all want to lift the restriction on gathering, unfortunately the epidemic is so volatile that the best thing to do is to maintain personal hygiene and cut down unnecessary activities.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jun 4, 2021 Dr Tung-fai Cheung, Spokesman of Alliance of Revitalizing Economy and Livelihood, observed, “The social gathering ban (SGB) and quarantine free clearance have always been the two key issues...Read More of recovering Hong Kong’s economy and people’s livelihood. Small-scale outbreaks in some mainland areas have ruined the negotiation between the local and mainland governments. It is high time that our government reviewed its social gathering policy. We hardly found any support of the current ban limit from public surveys or various industries based on their actual operations. The SGB should be the most important protective measure of our fight against Covid-19, but it has now become more like a curse than a protection net.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jun 2, 2021 Nelson Ip, Chairperson of Federation of Beauty Industry (HK), observed, “The gathering restriction has affected many commercial activities in Hong Kong, especially ...Read Morethe catering industry. Although the government has set up four types of divisions ABCD, shared space still exists and there is not much effect. As the epidemic subsides, I think the restriction on gathering should be relaxed, especially for large gatherings like celebration and funeral events, and I don’t think it is too much to allow ten people sharing one table.” Press Release Presentation Slides
Jun 1, 2021 Vice Chairman of The Hong Kong Chamber of Education Centres Yam Wai Ho observed, “Yesterday (31 May), the Chief Executive announced that the fourth wave ...Read Moreof the epidemic was over, in line with what Professor Yuen Kwok-Yung said on Saturday. The government introduced a number of new measures to boost vaccination, but did not announce any relaxation of the prohibition on group gathering. I think, for both the society and the economy, it is meaningless to announce the end of the fourth wave of the epidemic if there is no relaxation of any gathering restriction. I would rather see the government not announce the end of the fourth wave if it would tighten the restrictions again. According to Professor Yuen, the fifth wave of the epidemic is bound to happen in the future, so it would be meaningless to maintain such tight epidemic measures. Hong Kong people have lost so much, including the cinemas, karaoke, and other different places and shops with Hong Kong characteristics. Statistics show that 90% of Hong Kong people think that the restrictions on gathering are too tight. How much more would Hong Kong people lose if we still do not relax the restriction on gathering?” Press Release Presentation Slides
May 31, 2021 Kenneth Lee, Chairperson from Hong Kong Clerical, Administrative and Executive Employees Union, observed, “The epidemic is changing and so is the world. ...Read MoreIt is inevitable that the Government has to adjust its policies in response to the external environment. However, it also needs to gain public support, by strengthening publicity and education. The current restrictions on gathering have affected many part-time workers, and the industry also has certain difficulties in implementing these measures. There is still room for the Government to improve.” Press Release Presentation Slides
May 28, 2021 Jason Poon, Chairperson from the CHINAT Monitor, observed, “Hong Kong’s gathering restrictions have gradually become more and more complicated and incomprehensible, ...Read Morejust like the ABCD zones and packages for restaurants. The industry’s hesitation in accepting the restrictions is an indication of the government’s lack of consultation and communication in the policy making process. In foreign countries, the government would put forward the different scenarios of policy implementations, for the citizens to foresee and understand the policies more easily. Hong Kong’s goal of zero infection has always been a mirage, and just like the restrictions on gathering, everything is so difficult to be understood.” Press Release Presentation Slides
May 27, 2021 Vice Chairman of The Hong Kong Chamber of Education Centres Yam Wai Ho observed, “Today, 96% of people think that the anti-epidemic measures are too tight, which reaches all-time record high of the survey. ...Read MoreHowever, the Hong Kong government just announced that the current group gathering restrictions would remain unchanged for two more weeks. This decision is contrary to the wishes of all Hong Kong citizens. I think the government should quickly take measures to bring back normal life again. It should at least relax restrictions that are most relevant to the economy across different industries. In terms of education, elementary and middle schools have entered the exam period and will soon go into summer vacation. There is not much point to revert to full-time schooling now. The Education Bureau should encourage schools to arrange summer classes as soon as possible, to help students catch up with their learning progress.” Press Release Presentation Slides
May 26, 2021 Dr Tung-fai Cheung, Spokesman of Alliance of Revitalizing Economy and Livelihood, observed, “Our fantasy of cross-border travel without quarantine went down again as new confirmed cases of COVID-19 appeared in GuangDong ...Read Moreand Hong Kong over the past days. There was also confusing information released by the authority regarding the scheme of Return2hk, showing the poor risk management skills of our government. Peoples keep asking why there is no contingency plan for such an important arrangement which affects thousands of peoples returning to Hong Kong. If our authority only expects to ‘get the job done’ instead of trying its best to serve Hong Kong heartfully, how can our government be trusted by peoples, and how can our government lead us to be out of the woods?” Press Release Presentation Slides
May 25, 2021 Ben Leung Lap-yan, Charter President of the Licensed Bar and Club Association of Hong Kong proposes, “The bar industry has been cooperating with the Government to implement anti-epidemic measures, ...Read Moreand has called on all operators to comply with the government guidelines. However, what happened after the resumption of business on 29 April has proven that the conditions for resuming business are too strict. While requiring staff members to receive the first dose of vaccine and customers to use the ‘Leave Home Safe’ application are both workable, it is not feasible to require customers to have their first dose of vaccine. The Federation’s statistics show that business during this period is only 10% of normal times and it seems that the authorities have overestimated the willingness of the public to visit the bars and opt for vaccination at the same time. I urge the authorities to honour their pledge to help the industry, to strike a good balance between the need to fight the epidemic and the need of survival of the industry, by relaxing some of the restrictions.” Press Release Presentation Slides
May 24, 2021 KC Poon, researcher from the CHINAT Monitor, observed, “The epidemic has been going on for over a year and a half now, with wave after wave of outbreaks, mostly caused by imported cases. If the Government continues to ...Read Morebe ineffective in gate-keeping and does not strictly quarantine all people coming to Hong Kong, it will not be of much help in preventing the epidemic even if Hong Kong people strictly adhere to the gathering restrictions and all of them are vaccinated. Mutant viruses will continue to affect Hong Kong through importation. I hope that the Government will impose stricter quarantine measures on visitors coming to Hong Kong, even requiring all entrants to be vaccinated, and to implement a longer quarantine period to prevent the virus from infecting the public.” Press Release Presentation Slides
May 21, 2021 KC Poon, researcher from the CHINAT Monitor, observed, “As of yesterday May 20, Hong Kong has reached the 27th day of zero infection from unknown sources. I suggest relaxing the preventive measures for Category A and B ...Read Morerestaurants to 6-8 persons per table as soon as possible so that the business environment can be restored. Meanwhile, the Government should continue its gate-keeping efforts to prevent the recurrence of the epidemic from overseas.” Press Release Presentation Slides
May 20, 2021 Dr Tung-fai Cheung, Spokesman of Alliance of Revitalizing Economy and Livelihood, observed, “Facing so much chaotic information, peoples are becoming more and more ‘indifferent’ to the group gathering ban. ...Read MoreAlthough they know there is not much they can do, they still expect our government to take up a leading role. Businesses in small or medium catering services have been rejuvenated but this is not the case for large restaurants, nor the whole tourism industry. We found that the traditional tourism areas like Tsim Sha Tsui and Yau Ma Tei are deserted at night. Quite some shops are closed or even vacant. Hong Kong peoples are well-known to be tough and can survive many ups and downs. This time, we may become indifferent when facing the crisis, but the government cannot.” Press Release Presentation Slides
May 18, 2021 Vice Chairman of The Hong Kong Chamber of Education Centres Yam Wai Ho proposes, “Since the government announced last Tuesday that all students would return to school after May 24, while keeping the rest of the restrictions unchanged, ...Read Morewe have found that the proportion of people who considered the restriction measures too tight has further increased to 92%, it also reached a record high of 94% in two days within one week. This number is worrying because last week only 20% were satisfied with the government’s epidemic prevention arrangements. The very tight epidemic prevention measures may now cause people’s satisfaction rate with the government to drop further. I hope that the government can assess the situation, and relax the restrictions in various industries, so as to further loosen the strangulating curse of Hong Kong’s economy.” Press Release Presentation Slides
May 17, 2021 Ben Leung Lap-yan, Charter President of the Licensed Bar and Club Association of Hong Kong, observed, “The Government’s measure of requiring guests to wear masks when leaving their seats is already sufficient, ...Read Morewhy is it necessary to impose time and number limits? It is discriminatory and unjust to impose stringent restrictions on the bar trade and to require customers to take injections, and it is fundamentally an unacceptable condition. In the past two weeks since the implementation of the new rules, the business of the industry has only been 10% of what it used to be. Not to mention business, it is not even possible to survive. The new rules do not help at all.” Press Release Presentation Slides
May 14, 2021 KC Poon, researcher from the CHINAT Monitor, observed, “The government’s new measure based on ‘vaccine bubble’ has been implemented since 29 April, but the law enforcement units and ...Read Morevarious industrial sectors are still working hard to sort out the legislated measures. In view of the development of the epidemic, it seems that the government should starts to strengthen the testing of foreign arrivals instead of punishing Hong Kong people by imposing restrictions on group gathering. I hope that the Hong Kong government will further relax the restriction on the number of people who can gather, so that people can lead a normal life again.” Press Release Presentation Slides
May 13, 2021 Bibiana Yuen, Chairperson of Frontline Health Inspector Union, called on the industry to be more tolerant, she observed, “Frontline enforcement staff are receiving information about...Read More the ‘vaccine bubble’ at the same time as the general public. As the legislation is relatively complicated, it will take time for everyone to understand it. At this education period, law enforcement officers will first help the public and restaurants understand the details and technicalities of implementation. Given the limited manpower of our frontline colleagues, we hope the industry can be more tolerant.” Press Release Presentation Slides
May 12, 2021 Dr Tung-fai Cheung, Spokesman of Alliance of Revitalizing Economy and Livelihood, observed, “With the relatively low number of confirmed cases in recent days and ...Read Morezero local infection for many consecutive days, our daily life has become more lively. Although the government’s attitude is far from meeting the expectations of the public, it is already relatively open. However, business activities in certain industries like large restaurants and tourism are still struggling hard to follow the group gathering ban, which has become a strangulating curse to them. I hope the government would make forward-looking arrangements for these businesses.” Press Release Presentation Slides
May 11, 2021 Vice Chairman of The Hong Kong Chamber of Education Centres Yam Wai Ho observed, “The percentage of Hong Kong citizens who believe that the group gathering restrictions ...Read Moreare too tight have been maintained at an extremely high level for many days, reflecting public’s belief that the restrictions need not be so tight. The government has been calling for people to get vaccinated for several months, but the proportion of people who have been vaccinated has stayed at a very low level, at less than 20%. I think many people do not think it is necessary to get vaccinated now because they think that the existing vaccination measures are sufficient enough. What can be considered is, if the government wants more people to be vaccinated, can it consider further relaxing the epidemic prevention measures?” Press Release Presentation Slides
May 10, 2021 Cat Hou Chui Shan, Chairperson of Bartenders and Mixologists Union of Hong Kong, observed, “Many restaurants have difficulties in enforcing the group ...Read Moregathering restrictions because there are too many categories and so many policy changes from time to time. Moreover, the enforcement criteria also varies across different government departments, making the catering industry hard to follow. Licensed premises are subject to restrictions at all times, many customers therefore turn to unlicensed nightclubs for entertainment, which is contrary to the industry’s wish and makes it even more difficult for the industry to survive. Many staff would also choose to leave the industry if they are forced to take vaccinations. I hope the Government will address the problem and hear the voice of the people.” Press Release Presentation Slides
May 7, 2021 KC Poon, researcher from the CHINAT Monitor, observed, “With the messy anti-epidemic policy and the failure of the BGI Group in performing its duties, ...Read Morevirus carriers are now free to wander around, further endangering the community. The mutated virus has also made the fifth wave even more violent. The restriction on group gathering has lost its original meaningful, contrary to the will of the people. Had the team leading the fight against COVID listened to and accepted Dr Ho Pak-leung’s advice earlier, the epidemic might not have been as bad as it is.” Press Release Presentation Slides
May 6, 2021 Dr Tung-fai Cheung, Spokesman of Alliance of Revitalizing Economy and Livelihood, observed, “The relatively low numbers of local COVID-19 cases somehow relieved public pressure ...Read Morewhile the mutant strain has become a growing threat, and many more peoples are getting concerned with the side effects of different vaccines. The current prohibition on group gatherings keeps suppressing the catering business by complicating a simple scenario. A limit of 4 persons per table is not equal to 1/3 of a full table of 12 in terms of consumer style, numbers of guest and the operational costs. There was a little fantasy of booming business last week in the catering trade. However, such hope turned out to be a damp squib by the wasting ‘strategy’ of our short-sighted government.” Press Release Presentation Slides
May 5, 2021 Vice Chairman of The Hong Kong Chamber of Education Centres Yam Wai Ho observed, “Although the government has relaxed the epidemic prevention measures last week, ...Read Morea vast number of citizens still considered the epidemic prevention measures too tight. This shows that the relaxation of the epidemic prevention measures has not met the expectations of the public. I suggest the government further relaxes the epidemic prevention measures within a short period of time, especially to relax the proportion of students in primary and secondary schools, kindergartens and tutorial schools from two-thirds to full capacity, but just attending half-day school to begin with. This can help the students recover their learning progress towards the end of the semester, while also reducing the pressure on parents and teachers.” Press Release Presentation Slides
May 3, 2021 KC Poon, researcher from the CHINAT Monitor, observed, “New measures for vaccine bubble keep coming waves after waves, with forever changing contents. People are confused, ...Read Moretheir reviews cannot be worse. In order to alleviate people’s grievance, I suggest the government send more officials to visit the community to understand the practicality of these new measures before implementing them.” Press Release Presentation Slides
April 30, 2021 Simon WONG Kit-Lung, Chairman of Institution Of Dining Art, observed, “The industry is already very cooperative in carrying out the new measures, but because their classification is so complicated, ...Read Moreit is very difficult to implement them. The government has apparently not considered the actual situation thoroughly, so it would require quite some time for both the customers and service providers to adapt. I think there is still room for the government to relax the gathering restrictions, in light of the real situation and the wish of the people.” Press Release Presentation Slides
April 29, 2021 Sam Ng, the Principal and Artistic Director of the VIVA DANCE, observed, “Effective epidemic control mainly depends on people’s self-discipline. As long as everyone pays attention to public health and ...Read Moreconsciously wears a mask, the situation will definitely improve. The relaxation of the gathering restriction order is a very good arrangement for the catering industry, and the new regulations can help many industries find a way out of the crisis. Regrettably the number of gatherings is still too tight. I consider it more ideal to permit gatherings of 8 people if not more.” Press Release Presentation Slides
April 28, 2021 KC Poon, researcher from the CHINAT Monitor, observed, “The new measures announced by the government are becoming more and more complicated, and the restrictions are still too harsh. ...Read MoreThe industry’s resistance to their implementation would remain high. Because the government only announced the new measures yesterday, April 27, the public sentiment would take time to settle, after the information is digested by the industry and the common people.” Press Release Presentation Slides
April 27, 2021 Dr Tung-fai Cheung, Spokesman of Alliance of Revitalizing Economy and Livelihood, observed, “I hope the government will not ignore that 92% peoples disagreed with the current group gathering ban. ...Read MoreThe inbound transmitted path has to be blocked when the new double-mutated strain is knocking our door. On the other hand, people do expect a more relaxing gathering policy as the number of local cases drops. If the above jobs are not done, the travel bubbles proposed by the government will only be a belated remedy.” Press Release Presentation Slides
April 26, 2021 Vice Chairman of The Hong Kong Chamber of Education Centres Yam Wai Ho proposes, “It has been several days that more than 80% of the people consider the group gathering ban too strict, ...Read Morethe government should allow schools to open all classes back to school for half a day, and also allow tutorial schools to open all capacity for teaching. That will alleviate the pressure of parents to take care of their children at home for a prolonged period, and also allow students to have better learning effectiveness.” Press Release Presentation Slides
April 23, 2021 Dr Tung-fai Cheung, Spokesman of Alliance of Revitalizing Economy & Livelihood, observed, “This week, we have seen rather varied numbers of confirmed cases. However, ...Read Morethe difference between GGPI and the limit of group gathering ban has stayed rather stable over the month past, at about 9 people. This reveals a psychological gap between government group gathering ban and people’s expectation. I wonder if our government is willing to narrow this gap and eventually eliminate it so as to respond to the aspirations and needs of the community. After all, the limit of group gathering is not only a medical speculate but also an integrated consideration of epidemic risk, people’s overall well-being and our government’s confidence against the COVID-19.” Press Release Presentation Slides
April 22, 2021 Mr Yam Wai Ho, Vice Chairman of The Hong Kong Chamber of Education Centres, observed, “On April 22, 94% of the respondents believed that the anti-epidemic group gathering ...Read Moreban was too tight, which has surged to the peak since the epidemic. This means that the public is extremely dissatisfied with the over-tightening anti-epidemic policy over these months, and the severeness of the current epidemic prevention measures in general is completely out of proportion. The government should use these figures as references, and relax the epidemic prevention policy as soon as possible in response to the demands of Hong Kong people.” Press Release Presentation Slides
April 21, 2021 Dr Tung-fai Cheung, Spokesman of Alliance of Revitalizing Economy & Livelihood, observed, “Low infection numbers in the past two days made us feel rather relaxed, ...Read Morethus people wants to have larger group gatherings. However, we have seen a huge number of imported infections these two days (29 cases in 18 April, 11 cases in 19 April). After considering the difference in population base, I am surprised to see the extremely high risk of infection among the inbound sector. The government must block the inbound routes more effectively, otherwise all efforts would be in vain.” Press Release Presentation Slides
April 20, 2021 Dr Tung-fai Cheung, Spokesman of Alliance of Revitalizing Economy & Livelihood, observed, “The current restriction order is considered to be too tight by mainstream society, ...Read Morebecause the order has excessively disturbed peoples’ daily life and business operation in Hong Kong. With the growth of vaccination coverage, more people would want a more relieved gathering order. I urge medical experts to evaluate the pandemic risk in a practical manner, and to value the experiences and wisdom learnt in recent clinical practice, so as to accelerate the recovery of our daily life and our depressed economy.” Press Release Presentation Slides
April 19, 2021 Manager (Research and Fieldwork) of HKPORI Frank Lee observed, “As the number of the confirmed cases rebounded over the weekend, ...Read Morethe reading of GGPI has significantly dropped to 8.7 today, and 42% and 41% respectively considered the current ban too strict and too lenient, back to the level registered in mid-March in general. In view of the erratic epidemic, we started to conduct our eighth benchmark survey last Friday. Once finished we will update our GGPI calculations in order to gauge people’s new sentiment in response to the new policies.” Press Release Presentation Slides
April 16, 2021 Data Science Manager of HKPORI Edward Tai observed, “The reading of GGPI is 14.3 today, and 87% considered the current ban too strict. ...Read MoreThe number of the confirmed cases has dropped slightly in recent days, concurring with the government’s announcement of ‘conditional relaxation measures’ for restaurants and bars. Today, we will start to conduct our eighth benchmark survey, lasting for about a week. We will then update our GGPI calculations in order to gauge people’s new sentiment in response to the new policies.” Press Release Presentation Slides
April 15, 2021 Legislative Council Medical Constituency Member Dr Pierre Chan made the following comments, “My personal observation is that the tightening or relaxation of the gathering ban in Hong Kong ...Read Moreis a political decision coupled with economic considerations. It seems ‘not directly related’ to science, medicine, or public opinion.” Press Release Presentation Slides
April 14, 2021 President and CEO of HKPORI Robert Chung observed, “The reading of GGPI stays at 11.4 today, due to the same number of infected cases. ...Read MoreMost people want to see a relaxation of the ban, as 69% considered the current ban too strict. Since the government has announced new measures to conditionally relax restrictions on restaurant and bar operation, POP will conduct our eighth benchmark study as soon as possible, in order to update our base of GGPI calculations.” Press Release Presentation Slides
April 13, 2021 On the latest figures of GGPI, Deputy CEO of HKPORI Kim-Wah Chung observed, “The CE announced some measures to relax restrictions on restaurant and bar operation. ...Read MoreMany people doubt that the government intends to compel more people to download and to use LeaveHomeSafe. The reading of GGPI as today is 11.4, and 69% considered the current ban too strict. This clearly indicates that the government’s measures are still behind public expectations.” Press Release Presentation Slides
April 12, 2021 On the latest figures of GGPI and their computation method, President and CEO of HKPORI Robert Chung observed, “The reading of GGPI is 11.4 today, and 69% considered the current ban too strict. ...Read MorePeople obviously want to see a relaxation of the ban. Moreover, starting today, we will include more figures and explanations in our daily GGPI press releases for public consumption, like the maximum values used in our benchmark data simulations.” Press Release Presentation Slides
April 9, 2021 President and CEO of HKPORI Robert Chung observed, “The reading of ‘Group Gathering Prohibition Index’ stands at 11.4 today, which is 7.4 persons higher than the official limit. ...Read MoreMost people want to see a relaxation of the ban, as 69% considered the current ban too strict. However, the intensity of such a wish has dropped to a 3-day low, obviously due to the gradual increase in the number of confirmed infected cases to a double-digit figure during this period.” Press Release Presentation Slides
April 8, 2021 Data Science Manager of HKPORI Edward Tai observed, “The reading of ‘Group Gathering Prohibition Index’ stands at 14.1 today, which is much higher than the official limit....Read MoreAs many as 84% of the general public considering the current ban too strict, meaning that the current ban is only acceptable by one-eighth of the people. This reflects people’s wish for the government to relax the ban. Since mid-March this year, the Group Gathering Prohibition Index has been standing at more than 10 people, government should consider gradually relaxing the ban after balancing the COVID risk.” Press Release Presentation Slides
April 7, 2021 President and CEO of HKPORI Robert Chung observed, “The reading of ‘Group Gathering Prohibition Index’ stands at 14.3 today, which is 10.3 persons higher than the official limit....Read MoreWith 87% of the general public considering the current ban too strict, people obviously want to see a relaxation of the ban as soon as possible. We hope the government would hear the people’s voice. Please note that starting today, we will announce this index daily for public consumption via our standard press releases.” Presentation Slides
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