FEHD takes stringent enforcement actions relating to anti-epidemic regulations


     A spokesman for the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) said today (June 4) that the FEHD continued to step up its inspections territory-wide and conducted joint operations with the Police in a number of districts in the past two days, so as to take enforcement actions against operators, staff and customers of bars/pubs, other catering premises and other premises in defiance of the anti-epidemic regulations. The spokesman again reminded parties concerned to remain vigilant and strictly comply with the requirements and directions under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F) (the Regulation), the Prevention and Control of Disease (Vaccine Pass) Regulation (Cap. 599L) etc.

     The spokesman said, “All sectors of the community should not lower their guard, as the risk of rebound in the epidemic situation remains.  The FEHD will continue to conduct stringent enforcement operations proactively over this long weekend and the coming two weekends. The FEHD urges premises operators not to defy the law.”

     The FEHD and the Police in the past two days (June 2 to 3) inspected a total of 126 catering premises (including 10 bars/pubs) and 27 other premises during the joint operations, and the FEHD on its own inspected a total of 920 catering premises (including 45 bars/pubs) and 211 other premises (including the dragon boat competitions held in Tai O and Stanley). Over the past two days, in total, the FEHD initiated procedures on prosecution against operators of six catering premises in Mong Kok, Wong Tai Sin and North Districts and four bars/pubs in Central and Western and Mong Kok Districts suspected of breaching the requirements under the directions.

     The FEHD also required the premises to take corresponding measures for reducing the risk of transmission. Two bars/pubs and six other catering premises found with irregularities had to, on the subsequent day of being identified of the irregularities by the enforcement officers, cease selling or supplying food or drink for consumption on the premises from 6pm to 4.59am of the subsequent day, and allow no more than two persons to be seated together at one table for a period of three, seven or 14 days, while two bars/pubs found with irregularities had to, on the subsequent day of being identified of the irregularities by the enforcement officers, close for seven or 14 days. In addition, the FEHD also issued fixed penalty notices (FPNs) to six persons in a bar in Central suspected of breaching the cap on the number of persons per table, and also to one customer suspected of breaching the requirement of scanning “LeaveHomeSafe” venue QR code and to one staff suspected of breaching the Vaccine Pass requirement in other catering premises.

     If a person responsible for carrying on a catering business contravenes the Regulation or the requirements and directions of the Vaccine Pass, he or she is liable to be prosecuted and, upon conviction, to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months. Persons who are present at catering premises or other specified premises must comply with directions applicable to them. Non-compliance with the relevant directions is an offence and offenders are subject to a maximum fine of $10,000, or the liability may be discharged by paying a fixed penalty of $5,000. In addition, for customers in breach of the requirement on the maximum number of persons per table within catering premises, they are liable to a fixed penalty of $5,000 for violating the Prevention and Control of Disease (Prohibition on Gathering) Regulation (Cap. 599G). For customers not wearing a mask when they are not eating or drinking at a table therein, or they are not eating or drinking, they are liable to a fixed penalty of $5,000 for contravening the Prevention and Control of Disease (Wearing of Mask) Regulation (Cap. 599I).

     In addition, the FEHD has explained what “live performance” means through the “Frequently Asked Questions of Bars / Pubs” (see Q&A5) in its thematic webpage. For details, please browse the following webpage (https://www.fehd.gov.hk/english/events/covid19/vaccine_bubble_faq_bar.html).

     To minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission, the spokesman strongly appealed to all sectors of the community to stay vigilant and comply with the relevant regulations on prevention and control of disease in a concerted and persistent manner. The FEHD has strengthened its publicity efforts and will continue to take stringent enforcement actions. All sectors are reminded to exercise self-discipline and co-operate to fight the virus together.