Hong Kong bar owners in symbolic hunger strike over Covid closures

HONG KONG: A group of bar, karaoke and mahjong parlour owners have gone on a symbolic hunger strike in Hong Kong over anti-coronavirus measures that have kept them shuttered for most of the past year.

The four-day protest started on the pavement outside the Hong Kong government's headquarters on Sunday - the one-year anniversary of when the authorities first ordered a round of closures to stem infections.

Those taking part are refusing food in shifts, more an act of protest than a full hunger strike.

"People are queueing for beaches... restaurants are full, but only we are in pain and barred from opening," Mr Leung Lap Yan, founding president of the Licensed Bar and Club Association said.

Over the past year, they have been fully closed for 230 days, opened with restrictions for 101 days, and allowed to run normally for only 24 days. - AFP