🌊 City in lockdown
Bars giving out free beer, Taiwan buys rum to annoy China
In today’s Tide, I’ll try very hard to not only talk about COVID but inevitably it will all be about COVID.
The silver lining is that I managed to get our site back up (yay!). A couple of readers messaged me saying you couldn’t access articles. Some even thought we were hacked. We were not hacked. It’s just bad tech.
I celebrated fixing the site by getting myself a hangover. The other upside is I won’t be having anymore hangovers, because all the bars are now closing for 2 weeks…along will most of the city.
Enjoy your last day out.
On Today’s Tide:
Two week lockdown from Friday
Several clusters identified - did you dance at Victoria Park?
Bars demand reparation
Go get vaccinated
Paid Readers also get …. not COVID news
Politics | Pro-establishment lawmakers meet Xia Biaolong in Shenzhen.
Greater China | Lithuania backtracks on Taiwan office name. Taiwan gets drunk on Lithuanian Rum.
COVID: Lockdown Rules
Yesterday afternoon, CE Carrie Lam announced a slew of hard handed social distancing measures in an attempt to cut Omicron transmission chains before they get out of hand. Handy guide: our twitter thread -
In full, the verbose press release
Large Events Cancelled - 4 person gathering regulation stays in force
Local Tours cancelled
Cruises to nowhere actually going nowhere
Bars and Pubs closed. Private clubs, hotels can keep restaurants open but not the bars.
LCSD venues (museums, libraries pools) and ‘Scheduled Premises’ under Cap 599F closed
Restaurants to stop serving at 6pm (takeout still ok as per previous lockdowns). Patrons per table limited depending on premise type -
B venues: 2 per table, C: 4 per table, D: 6 per table
No visits to hospitals or elderly care homes
New cases: 38 (4 local)
Active Cases: 372
What started with one cheeky out-of-isolation lunch at Causeway Bay has now sparked into multiple clusters. SCMP made this cool chart:
No more shows
The sudden announcement of a full closure for so many events and venues has struck a bad chord for many.
While the press conference for new social distancing measures was held at 3:30pm, cruises that were meant to embark were already grounded without the public knowing. Some hopeful cruise-to-nowhere passengers only found that their trips were cancelled after arriving at Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, suitcase in tow.
Cruise Operator ‘Royal Carribean’ has offered full refunds to affected.
Meanwhile, those who have hobbies with destinations - like going to concerts - also found the sudden ban annoying. With LCSD venues and large events cancelled, concerts and performances are heavily affected. The Xiqu Centre in West Kowloon will keep today (6 Jan’s) shows as scheduled, but everything from the 7th onwards will be rescheduled.
Cantopop star Hins Cheung’s 8 upcoming shows will be cancelled or rescheduled, affecting around 34,000 people who already have tickets.
The HK Cyclothon, which was supposed to revive on 16 Jan, will unforunately be cancelled for the 3rd year in a row.
F&B demand reparations
Chin Chun-wing, vice-president of the Hong Kong Bar and Club Association, criticsed the government for disproportionately punishing bars and clubs which had been stringently following vaccine bubble rules, which already lowered foot traffic.
"January is always the peak season for bars and clubs. The average turnover could normally reach HK$300,000 per pub” said Chin.
Chin is currently lobbying the government to provide $100,000 per affected venue to tide over the two week closure. He also argued that bars should be allowed to operate till 6pm, as per restaurant rules, so that income won’t be suddenly halted.
That would mean lots of lunchtime beers which I would not be able to resist.
To not waste product, many bars are offering discounts tomorrow before forced closure at midnight … see the events section for details ….
Field hospital recommissioned
Asia World Expo field hospital has been recommissioned with 500 beds to deal with the ‘tsunami-like increase of confirmed cases’.
Hospital Authority staff note that the Omicron wave coincides with flu season, and that public hospitals are already filling up with flu patients. Space and manpower are in short supply - Asia World Expo will primarily look after patients with mild symptoms, so that hospitals can deal with more serious cases.
Go get vaccinated already
Part of the blame for the Omicron outbreak has been put on infected individuals not being vaccinated, despite not having any medical exemption, leading to higher viral loads which in turn caused more infections.
The 62 mother of the Cathay Cargo worker is unvaccinated. She danced and dined with her friends everyday and just in general has a very active social life. Now her friends have COVID too. Not that the vaccinations 100% stop transmission, but it greatly reduces the effect of the virus both on yourself, and your ability to spread it.
Walk in vaccination centres continue to pop-up with one at Wong Tai Sin temple opening this week.
The Vaccine Bubble Expansion is still set to go ahead 24 Feb. After that day, the unvaccinated will not be allowed to go into any LCSD venues, restaurants, wet markets etc.
A Mr. Lau, 65 year old retiree, put it like this: “If I am not allowed to have morning dim sum at the restaurant, I will lose the meaning in life and get stuck at home”.
Be like Mr. Lau. Get your jab. Find your life’s purpose.
Events / Exhibitions etc
We want to make sure that what we advertise is interesting for our readers, so if you go to an event that you saw here, let us know by taking a selfie and tagging us on Twitter or Instagram ( both @harbourtimes ).
We’ll throw in a free month of Paid High Tide for yourself or a friend!
Food wastage is a big issue. If you open something, you should make sure you can finish it. That’s why all the bars now need to clear out their taps within 24 hours or else pour gallons of beer down the drain.
Enso Sake and Beer Bar - Tap Takeover pushed forward
A new bar which only opened on New Year’s being asked to shut down barely a week in. What a shame. At least you can go check it out before it’s too late!
Where: Enso - Sake and Beer Bar, G/F 3 Chatham Court, TST
Roundhouse - Chicken and Beer: all day discounts
Buy 1 get 1 free and all night happy hour to clear out their 24 taps of brilliant craft beer
Where: The Roundhouse, 29 Amoy Street, Wanchai
Out of the Brew: Buy 1 Get 1 Free craft beer all day
Definitely winner for best marketing.
Where: Out of the Brew, Soho Steps, Central
Editor’s note: We don’t want food and drink to go to waste, and it’s natural that people want a final night out before lockdown but at the same time, let’s not start another cluster at the bars. The F&B industry are hard hit enough as it is.
Be responsible, stay socially distanced. Don’t go to crowded places if you have any symptoms, keep your mask on when you’re not eating and drinking. Best to only go if you’re vaccinated too.
Have fun. Stay safe.
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