Restaurant fined over birthday party scandal

A Wan Chai restaurant which hosted a controversial Covid-hit birthday party attended by government officials and lawmakers has been fined HK$6,000 after admitting violating infection control rules.

A representative of Reserva Iberica pleaded guilty in Eastern Magistracy on Friday to failing to display the correct floor plan regarding the restaurant’s infection-control zoning.

The restaurant also failed to show a proper notice about air changes in the premises, the court heard.

The birthday party for NPC delegate Witman Hung in January was attended by over 200 people, just as the Omicron-driven fifth Covid wave was erupting in Hong Kong.

The party came to light after one guest tested positive for the virus, prompting the authorities to put many of those present into quarantine.

The saga led to the resignation of the then home affairs secretary, Caspar Tsui, who was criticised by Chief Executive Carrie Lam and others for his attendance at the party.

Six party-goers were also fined for breaching mask wearing rules and/or failing to use the government’s LeaveHomeSafe app.