Musicians’ union head decries job losses after live performances banned anew

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Live performances were banned again on Saturday after a surge in COVID-19 cases in the city. (File photo/Suvan Chowdhury from Pexels)

The chairperson of the Hong Kong Musicians Union (HKMU) said she felt devastated after the government once again banned live performances in light of a surge of COVID-19 cases.

The Hong Kong government on Saturday announced the tightening of social distancing measures taking effect on Sunday.  These will stay in force until Nov. 26.

Chairperson Manuela Lo told Hong Kong News she was devastated upon hearing the retightening of measures, just over three weeks since performers were allowed back on stage.

“Every time the numbers of infected [people] goes up, the musicians are the first ones to suffer losing their jobs,” she told Hong Kong News in a text message.

Lo added she will be discussing their next steps. In previous instances, they sought help from Legislator Tommy Cheung of the catering services functional constituency in the Legislative Council.

The union chairperson earlier told Hong Kong News that even if performances were allowed, COVID-19 prevention measures will still be in effect. Musicians were still separated by transparent barriers on stage in several venues, and they also wore masks.

Aside from banning live performances, dances will also be prohibited in catering premises, clubs, and nightclubs. The government also ordered the closure of party rooms.

Persons who violate these restrictions will be fined at most $50,000 and may be imprisoned for six months.

COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong are feared to be on the rise after a visitor at a dance club in Wan Chai tested positive for the virus during the week.