Hong Kong Bay (photo:DR)

For two years now, the Hong Kong government has modelled all its economic, security, social and health policies on those of Beijing. With all that this entails in terms of image of this city which was for a long time considered a model of economic and societal liberalism.

Not only have individual freedoms been eroded by the new security law imposed by Beijing in 2020. But they have also been eroded by the “Zero As Covid” policy. A policy that totally isolates Hong Kong from the rest of the world by confining any foreigner arriving in the territory for 14 days. And which also results in the suspension of most international airlines.

Finally, it was the failure of the “Zero-Case Covid” that forced the local government to show a little more flexibility. As a result, there were 1.06 million Covid-positive cases as of March 21 and 6,119 deaths. In mid-February, the former British colony counted only 52,500 positive cases and 221 deaths

The uncharismatic Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, finally acknowledged that the restrictive measures that have been affecting the daily lives of Hong Kongers for several months had eroded their patience. And that it was necessary to provide prospects for a way out of the crisis. She also seems to be taking into consideration the exodus of expatriates and wealthy Hongkongers. More than 140,000 have left the city since the end of 2021, a record in this city of 7 million inhabitants.

Flights to France resume

Announcements of relocations of headquarters based in the city have probably moved the city’s officials. Pernod Ricard, Bank of America and even Mandarin Oriental have announced that they are moving their headquarters.

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I can feel that some of our financial institutions are losing patience with Hong Kong’s isolated status, even though Hong Kong is an international financial center,” the Chief Executive conceded

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first measures have been announced: as of April 1, flights to nine countries will be allowed to resume, including France, the United Kingdom and the United States

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The mandatory quarantine in hotels upon arrival in Hong Kong will also be reduced from 14 to 7 days. Offering the prospect of “happier days”, the government has also announced that social distances will be eased from April 21 onwards over a period of three months and in stages. Provided that the covid virus is really under control.