The police pinpointing yellow shops, inspecting Lun Mun Cafe, dispersing takeout customers, forcing four people to sit together

Since the Government introduced a new round of epidemic prevention measures, restaurants are required to serve only four people per table and each table must be spaced 1.5 metres apart. Many “yellow shops” have become the targets.

Hung Hom branch of the “Yellow Shop”, Lung Mun Cafe, was “stomped on” by police on March 30 in an attempt to disperse customers who were waiting for takeouts outside the shop. They also asked customers who did not know each other to share the same table in order to increase the distance between each table. Some diners bluntly denounced the police as ridiculous and questioned whether they were deliberately suppressing the yellow shop.

Staff of the Hung Hom store revealed that a group of customers were waiting outside the store during the early hours of March 30 for a takeout. Then a police officer said he received a complaint that a crowd had gathered outside the store and asked the crowd to disperse. He then walked into the shop and measured the distance between the tables in the shop with a ruler and asked four customers who didn’t know each other to share the same table, claiming that this increased the distance between each table.

When the Government briefed reporters on the Ordinance on 27th March 2020, it was made clear that there was an exemption for queuing up. In respect of restaurant regulations, the Ordinance encourages customers to eat separately and the maximum number of people per table is four, instead of mandating four people to sit together. The government’s social networking site “Tamar Talk” has also issued an article explaining the measure in the form of a question-and-answer session. It mentions that more than four people queuing up for buses, taking lifts, crossing the street and waiting for takeouts do not meet the definition of group gathering.

Under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation, which was implemented by the Government at midnight 28th March 2020, the number of customers in a restaurant at any one time must not exceed half of its usual seating capacity. The layout shall be such that there is a minimum distance of 1.5 metres between two tables or partitions, and no more than four persons shall sit at the same table, etc. Starting from the 29th, groups of more than four persons in public places are prohibited.


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