Restaurants welcome mandatory app: federation chief

The president of the Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants said on Wednesday that the sector largely supports mandatory use of the Covid location-recording app.

Simon Wong made the comments on RTHK’s Hong Kong Today programme, a day after the administration confirmed that the LeaveHomeSafe app would be compulsory at all restaurants, gyms and hotels from December 9.

The federation head, Simon Wong, said use of the app would solve the problem of customers writing down fake contact details, which had caused problems for frontline staff.

“In the past month, the government has done a lot of checking on the restaurants and they found that some customers did not use the app and they also filled in fake information on the forms,” he told RTHK’s Janice Wong.

“In the end, the restaurants were being punished and we feel that this is not right, so we voiced out to the government that these kinds of measures should extend to all types of restaurants, not just for the government buildings.”

Asked about the attitude of customers, Wong said most people liked the convenience of using the app, though some considered it an invasion of their privacy. He said the app had been downloaded 6.4 million times, with no cases of privacy being invaded.

Wong also said he hoped the government could relax restrictions on certain categories of restaurant to allow more people to eat at a table, and longer operating hours.

The government said in a statement on Tuesday that mandatory use of the app was needed to boost the efficiency and accuracy of its tracing and testing work to tackle the variant strains of Covid-19.