Mahjong parlors were ordered to shut starting early December after the city’s epidemic began to worsen.

The representatives said the industry is willing to encourage their employees to get vaccinated, also requiring all visitors to register themselves or use the “LeaveHomeSafe” app in exchange for their reopening.

“We will also install ventilation systems, sterilize the tiles after each use, and demand customers wear face masks,” they added.

Catering sector lawmaker, Tommy Cheung Yu-yan, said the infection risk at mahjong parlors is minimal, which the government should consider allowing the industry to go back into business as soon as possible.

RTHK reports that one of the mahjong parlor owners, Chris Cheung, said if the government does not let them reopen within the next month or two, jobs will be axed.

"Definitely lays off would be the option," he said, "Employees suffer even more. Mahjong staff are paid on a daily basis ... Most mahjong don't pay the staff now...we don't have the government subsidies and we cannot afford to pay the staff anymore."