FEHD takes stringent enforcement actions against bars/pubs and other catering premises in defiance of anti-epidemic regulations (with photos)
A spokesman for the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) said today (June 11) that the FEHD continued to step up its inspections territory-wide and conducted joint operations with the Police in Central and Western District, Wan Chai District, Islands District, Mong Kok District, Sham Shui Po District, Wong Tai Sin District, Sha Tin District, Kwai Tsing District, Tuen Mun District and Yuen Long District yesterday (June 10) till small hours today, 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 reiterated that there have been multiple infection cases in certain bars/pubs and other catering premises recently, and it may be possible that among them, some operators and customers might not have complied with epidemic prevention regulations and restrictions, enforcement departments will proactively take stringent enforcement actions on an ongoing basis.
The spokesman 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., with a view to minimising the transmission risk in the community.
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 urges premises operators not to defy the law.”
The FEHD and the Police yesterday inspected a total of 139 catering premises (including 72 bars/pubs) and eight other premises during the joint operations, and the FEHD on its own inspected a total of 400 catering premises (including nine bars/pubs) and 134 other premises in all districts. The FEHD initiated procedures on prosecution against operators of 15 bars/pubs in Central and Western District, Wan Chai District, Mong Kok District, Sham Shui Po District, Wong Tai Sin District and Tuen Mun District and two other catering premises in Kwai Tsing and Tsuen Wan 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. Eight bars/pubs and two 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 restrict the number of persons per table to no more than two for a period of three, seven or 14 days; while seven bars/pubs found with irregularities had to, on the subsequent day of being identified of the irregularities by the enforcement officers, close for 14 days.
In addition, the FEHD also issued fixed penalty notices (FPNs) to 12 staff suspected of breaching the requirement of RAT record checking and two staff suspected of breaching the mask-wearing requirement and one customer suspected of breaching the requirement of scanning “LeaveHomeSafe” venue QR code and Vaccine Pass requirement in bars/pubs. The Police also took enforcement actions during the joint operations.
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 persons not wearing a mask when they are not eating or drinking at a table therein, they are liable to a fixed penalty of $5,000 for contravening the Prevention and Control of Disease (Wearing of Mask) Regulation (Cap. 599I).
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.