Editorial : A ban on alcohol sale

【明報專訊】AS HONG KONG PEOPLE in the UK and the US are returning to the city in droves to flee the pandemic, there has been a marked increase in imported coronavirus cases in Hong Kong, while local infections also threaten to rise. In light of the fact that several cases were related to pubs and other venues, the government has temporarily barred pubs and restaurants from selling alcoholic drinks in its new measures against the pandemic. The industry has voiced its opposition in unison. One of the key components of anti-pandemic work at community level is about minimising social contact in high-risk venues. The rising number of infections originating from the Lan Kwai Fong cluster shows that pubs have indeed become potential sites of viral spread, carrying risks that no ordinary restaurants can compare with. Some of those returning to Hong Kong from Europe and the US have picked up the pub culture there and like to gather to quaff pint after pint and have a casual chat. The risk of cross-infection cannot be underestimated. To fight against the pandemic, it is necessary for the government to take measures to make people less inclined to assemble at high-risk venues.