Guilty plea for technician who tests positive for Covid and still dines out

A 28-year-old copier technician on Tuesday pleaded guilty to exposing others to infection for visiting restaurants dubbed “blue shops” and taking public transports after testing positive for Covid in February.

The term “blue shops” referred to shops and restaurant chains that showed support to the government and police during the anti-extradition bill movement in 2019 and were boycotted by protesters at that time.

Appearing before judge Frances Leung Nga-yan in Kowloon City Magistrates' Courts, the technician Lam Hin-yeung pleaded guilty to 11 counts of exposing others to risks of infection.

Lam will be sentenced on July 5 and remanded in custody until then, awaiting the court to retrieve background reports.

The court heard that Lam posted his positive rapid antigen test result on Facebook on February 24 and said he had a fever. He slammed the government “rubbish” and pointed out that he had yet to receive test results after almost a week.

Lam added if he didn't receive the test result the next day, he would dine out at “blue shops” everyday. A few days later, he posted other photos of finished meals at restaurants on Facebook.

Lam underwent a PCR test on February 23 and submitted his deep-throat saliva sample to health authorities two days later. His positive results returned on February 27 and March 1 separately.

The charges accused Lam of visiting the restaurants and taking the public transports between February 25 and March 1, including San Po Kong Restaurant and The Master of Char Siu in San Po Kong, Fulum Palace and Tsui Wah Restaurant in Wong Tai Sin and Genki Sushi in Diamond Hill.

As for the public transports Lam had taken, they included KMB buses route 21, 91M, 29M, minibus route 83A and a train traveling from Choi Hung to Wong Tai Sin.

Police on March 8 arrested Lam over his visit to Genki Sushi. Lam later told officers under police caution that he was sorry and he only wanted to dine out.