Hong Kong's arts, culture and sports sectors have asked the government to relax some of its COVID-19 related restrictions, including reopening some of the premises as many practitioners in these industries have had no income since the forced closure required by the government last week.
Kenneth Fok, lawmaker of the arts, culture and sports sectors said the practitioners in these industries did not hope the premises could fully reopen next week after the 14-day closure ordered by the government. To help them, he said the government should consider allowing them to operate with relaxed restrictions, such as wearing masks and a ban on spectators.
He added that many practitioners in these industries did not have any income since the forced closure. With a partial reopening, some performances could be streamed online, allowing them to get paid.
Looking ahead, Fok said the industries want the government to "scientifically evaluate" the risks associated with these activities, instead of just shutting down every premise. According to RTHK, the vice chairwoman of the Performing Industry Association, Lisa Hui, said the uncertainty caused by the pandemic has led to a brain drain and artists are now making career switches for income security.
The Hong Kong government reimposed some social-distancing measures last week, closing bars and gyms. Restaurants are not allowed to offer dine-in services after 6 pm. In addition, the Hong Kong government even banned flights from eight countries. A total of 15 types of specified premises are required to shut, such as theme parks, museums, party rooms, beauty parlours, swimming pools, bathhouses, game centres, karaoke rooms, sports premises, event and performance venues, and cinemas.
(Photo courtesy: 123RF)
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