Coronavirus social distancing measures in Hong Kong were relaxed on Thursday, allowing restaurants to resume dine-in services after 6pm with four people at each table. Diners are meant to use the government’s LeaveHomeSafe mobile application to track their visit using a QR code, but HKFP has found that many are unwilling to take part.

Restaurant owners in Mong Kok said that diners preferred to manually jot down their name and phone numbers instead.

LeaveHomeSafe QR code and a register station outside Mrs. Lee’s restaurant. Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

Mrs. Lee, owner of a tea house, told HKFP that there were fewer customers since the implementation of the new requirement: “I think it’s because people don’t want to use the LeaveHomeSafe, and that’s why they would rather not eat outside,” said Lee.

According to one of her staffers, the tea house would usually receive over 100 takeaway orders per day, but they had yet to reach their daily average on the first day under the new social-distancing rules.

Mr. Li, the owner of a Japanese restaurant, said that his customers disliked both methods, when it came to recording their visit.

A “personal data collection box” in Mr. Li’s restaurant for diners to put in slips which they have written their personal details on. Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

“They actually disliked writing their names down and don’t want to use the app either,” said Li. “They would rather order takeouts.”



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