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Hong Kong finally allows live musicians & DJs to officially perform in bars and clubs

Face masks are still encouraged to be kept on “as far as possible”

  • Amira Waworuntu
  • 14 October 2022
Hong Kong finally allows live musicians & DJs to officially perform in bars and clubs

Hong Kong authorities have just revealed that several venues will be allowed to host live music performances starting next week.

Beforehand, the government announced its latest regulations in regards to “catering premises” (which include bars and pubs) and live music. For the specified period of October 12-19, 2022, dancing and live performances have been banned — this includes DJs performing in the same area as seated customers.

Hong Kong seems to have taken the hardest (and longest) hit from the pandemic, while other countries in Asia are already going hard with their hosting of festivals and tours by international artists. However, there seems to be a glimmering light at the end of the pandemic tunnel.

During a press conference yesterday, Under Secretary for Health Libby Lee mentioned that live music performers would still have to follow certain health protocols, namely taking two PCR tests per week and a rapid antigen test before entering venues they perform at. Masks are also suggested to be kept on “as far as possible”.

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With previous group gatherings restricted to only four at a time, the government is also considering raising the cap to a maximum of twelve — a much better number for going Dutch on nights out. This permission comes based on the fact that the number of people infected by COVID-19 is beginning to stabilise.

Lee goes on to mention the cap could be increased if “the disease is controlled or the immunity of the public is guaranteed.”

In terms of numbers, health officials in Hong Kong have confirmed 5,622 infections as of Thursday, October 13, with 387 of them coming from overseas. After loosening the mandatory hotel quarantine for arrivals in late September, there has been an uptick in COVID-19 cases as almost 5% of arrivals tested positive for the virus.

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Venue owners and musicians have without a doubt welcomed the government’s permission with open arms. Chin Chun-wing, chairman of the Hong Kong Bar and Club Association, calls it a timely move as the Halloween and World Cup peak seasons approach.

“The relaxation will help the industry hold themed events to promote publicity and stimulate the atmosphere of bars,” Chin said. He also predicts business to increase by as much as 30% thanks to this ease of regulations.

[Via: HKFP & SCMP]