Home-delivered meals, internet usage rise during virus ‘staycation’

Members of the public have been spending more time on the internet and opting for more home-delivered meals than normal while they wait for the government’s epidemic prevention measures to finish.
On Tuesday, telecommunication service provider CTM held a video news release, with network services vice president Declan Leong Pui Hong indicating that the company recorded significant growth in internet usage after the local government urged people to stay home as much as possible.
CTM users spent as much as 30% more time on the internet during this ‘staycation’ period than normal. The most popular activity of the public is browsing social media, followed by time spent watching videos.
Since January 25, the local government has exempted work for non-essential civil servants, urging them to stay home as much as possible. On February 4, the government decided to close the city’s casinos for two weeks, and many hotel and casino staff have since been asked to stay at home too.
In addition to these ‘staycation’ workers, the general public is also spending more time at home.
After the government urged the public to stay inside, many restaurants have temporarily suspended operations or shifted to providing home-delivered meals.
Whereas eat-in restaurant businesses are suffering from significant decline, consumers are helping the food delivery businesses boom. Some restaurants are also offering discounts for deliveries to make use of the increased demand.
Last week, the Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM) issued a statement targeting food delivery services and other suppliers of prepared food. The IAM did not disclose the precise data regarding the rise in food delivery activity during the recent period, but acknowledged the general increase.
In Macau’s neighboring Guangdong province, the government authority has announced new policies, which may aid the food delivery business.
Yesterday, the Guangzhou government officially banned all eat-in services across the entire city to prevent people from gathering together. Nevertheless, the same policy details that people in Guangzhou can still resort to delivery services.
A news report by mainland media Eastmoney said that many well-known chain restaurants in Beijing have enhanced their online delivery services by offering discounts.
With home-delivered meals rising in popularity, online platforms are implementing extra measures to ensure food safety.
To respond to the Macau government’s epidemic prevention call, popular food delivery platform Aomi put out a notification on its app regarding hygiene measures to assure customers of the food delivery process.
In mainland China, food delivery platforms have also been implementing enhanced hygiene standards applied to food deliveries.

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