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At the yearly food fair, Hong Kong forbids eating.

Due to coronavirus restrictions, attendees at Hong Kong’s annual exhibition of international gourmet food will once again not be able to sample the treats, the organiser announced Tuesday.

The five-day Food Expo, which will start on Thursday at the city’s Convention and Exhibition Centre, is anticipated to draw tens of thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibitors.

However, due to public health regulations, there won’t be any sampling sections this year, and all visitors must wear masks, according to Sophia Chong, interim CEO of the Trade Development Council, which organised the expo.

We get that tourists want to sample the offerings, Chong added.When it’s safe and hygienic to do so after the pandemic, we plan to reestablish this arrangement.

The decision was made a day after the government declared that spectators at the Hong Kong Sevens in November would be permitted to drink but not dine there and would need to wear masks in between sips.

Chong stated that since it would be the second year of the sampling prohibition, they were not worried about how the measures would affect the show.

The number of exhibitors at the 2018 Food Expo actually increased from 2017, according to Chong.

The majority of Hong Kong’s 7.5 million inhabitants will start receiving new HK$2,000 ($255) consumption vouchers starting on Sunday, which the expo organiser hopes would increase visitors’ desire for retail therapy.

Since more than two years ago, Hong Kong has strictly followed China’s zero-COVID policy, implementing some of the strictest regulations in the world, including as a need for new arrivals from abroad to enter a quarantine period and a prohibition on large group gatherings in public areas.

After more than 1.2 million city dwellers became ill and 9,300 people passed away in the first four months of this year, the city has recently been recording 3-4,000 daily infections, raising concerns of a return