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    Hong Kong Drops More COVID

    Experts warn economic recovery could be partial with Hong Kong struggling to put political unrest and the pandemic in the past

    CHINA NEWS

    Hong Kong Drops More COVID-19 Restrictions but Caution Remains

    December 24, 2022 3:47 PM

    Tommy Walker

    FILE - Travelers at Hong Kong International Airport after the lifting of COVID-19 movement controls in Hong Kong, China, Dec. 14, 2022.

    Hong Kong is forecast to grow economically next year after the city’s leader announced the removal of nearly all COVID-19 restrictions on international arrivals and said it would reopen its border with China.

    But experts say the coronavirus pandemic and geopolitics have hampered Hong Kong’s international status after nearly three years of global isolation.

    Last week, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee announced that people arriving in Hong Kong are free from COVID-19 restrictions.

    International passengers can now travel freely upon arrival. Previous requirements meant arrivals were not allowed to enter places such as restaurants and bars for the first three days, monitoring their health as a precaution against catching the coronavirus. The government also scrapped its COVID-19 tracking media app that granted users access to venues such as restaurants, gyms and salons, although some designated venues will still require vaccination records for those who wish to enter.

    SEE ALSO:

    Hong Kong Drops Curbs on Incoming Travelers, Scraps COVID App

    Gary Bowerman, a tourism analyst based in Kuala Lumpur, said Hong Kong’s arrivals could still be hesitant to enter.

    “Removing most entry restrictions is a big step forward, but as experience proved in Southeast Asia and South Korea, it is not until on-arrival testing is eliminated that confidence will return for inbound travel," Bowerman told VOA. "Hong Kong is on a holding pattern, where travelers will likely wait until testing is removed before committing to travel to Hong Kong."

    COVID-19 background — China reopening

    Arrivals must still be subject to a mandatory COVID-19 PCR test on arrival and one on Day Two, while the city’s face mask mandate is still in place.

    Hong Kong initially closely followed China's “zero-COVID” strategy, implementing strict policies such as vaccine passes, curfews and bans on group gatherings. But the territory has gradually eased restrictions as the spread of the highly transmissible omicron variants has been difficult to control.

    Despite cases roaring in China, Lee announced Saturday that by mid-January Hong Kong’s border with the mainland would reopen.

    “Hong Kong relies heavily on tourism from mainland China — which accounted for 78% of its visitors in 2018, so it would need China to reopen the border for any significant uplift to occur,” Bowerman previously told VOA.

    Visitor numbers low

    Hong Kong first opened borders to non-residents May 1 and then, in September, removed quarantines for arrivals. But with much of the world opening completely, Hong Kong hasn’t seen anything close to the number of arrivals it would welcome in pre-pandemic times.

    This year has seen arrivals into Hong Kong remain low in comparison to before the pandemic, with only 330,223 visitors through the end of October. The city usually enjoys tens of millions of arrivals per year, with more than 65 million arrivals in 2018.

    Alicia Garcia-Herrero, chief economist for the Asia Pacific region for Natixis, a French investment bank, said the removal of remaining restrictions for arrivals is a “game changer.”

    “The announcement [removing] “0+3” is a game changer for Hong Kong. We are going to revise our growth projection. We are at -3 [%] this year at least. We’re going to see a rebound of at least 3%, possibly 4%. So, I can see about 3.5% [economic] growth [for 2023]. That’s to these measures,” Garcia-Herrero told VOA.

    But trade wars and political differences between the U.S. and China in recent years have affected Hong Kong’s status as a global financial center. Relations also have soured between Washington and Beijing after Hong Kong authorities cracked down on pro-democracy protests in 2019.

    Garcia-Herrero said geopolitics means investors and businesses are relying less on Hong Kong as an investment hub.

    “There is also export ban sanctions, even if Hong Kong is a different jurisdiction, the U.S. also applies these sanctions," Garcia-Herrero said. "Companies in the light of Hong Kong are being perceived much more like the mainland [China] and not only by observers, this affects investors’ positions. Some are leaving for Singapore. I wouldn’t say financial institutions are just shutting and leaving, but they are reducing operations and finding what they can do elsewhere is less risky. It is a geopolitical risk not a competitive risk."

    Hong Kong’s international status "is a different ballgame," Garcia-Herrero said. "To me, a global financial center like London, New York — the point is there is a vast variety in these two stock exchanges. That’s not the case in Hong Kong anymore and I doubt it will be. For me, Hong Kong will remain increasingly this offshore center for the mainland."

    Long time coming

    Business owners, residents and foreign expatriates in Hong Kong have criticized Hong Kong’s long-winded COVID-19 rules, complaining the city would lose its competitiveness and status as a global city.

    स्रोत : www.voanews.com

    Coronavirus latest news: travel restrictions in China and Hong Kong, quarantine rules, vaccinations and Covid cases

    Latest news and updates on Covid-19 travel restrictions and quarantine rules in China and Hong Kong, vaccinations and Covid cases

    THE

    CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

    Latest news and updates on Covid-19 travel restrictions and quarantine rules in China and Hong Kong, vaccinations and Covid cases

    Quick-links

    What you need to know

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    KNOWLEDGE

    Coronavirus Vaccine FAQs

    Can I travel to mainland China?

    China has a zero-tolerance approach to the coronavirus and has closed its borders to most international travel. Travellers to the country must meet a series of requirements, despite the potential long-term economic impact and the nation’s plans to host international events including the Winter Olympics.

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    स्रोत : www.scmp.com

    Hong Kong COVID

    Hong Kong Coronavirus update with statistics and graphs: total and new cases, deaths per day, mortality and recovery rates, current active cases, recoveries, trends and timeline.

    WORLD / COUNTRIES / CHINA, HONG KONG SAR

    Last updated: December 25, 2022, 23:34 GMT

     China, Hong Kong SAR

     China, Hong Kong SAR Coronavirus Cases:

    2,484,812

    Deaths:

    11,462

    Recovered:

    2,017,533

    Daily Cases Graph - Daily Deaths Graph

    Learn more about Worldometer's COVID-19 data

    Total Coronavirus Cases in China, Hong Kong SAR

    linear logarithmic

    Total Coronavirus Cases

    Total Cases (Linear Scale) Feb 15, 2020 Apr 23, 2020 Jun 30, 2020 Sep 06, 2020 Nov 13, 2020 Jan 20, 2021 Mar 29, 2021 Jun 05, 2021 Aug 12, 2021 Oct 19, 2021 Dec 26, 2021 Mar 04, 2022 May 11, 2022 Jul 18, 2022 Sep 24, 2022 Dec 01, 2022 0 1M 2M 3M Cases

    Daily New Cases in China, Hong Kong SAR

    Novel Coronavirus Daily Cases

    Daily New Cases

    Cases per DayData as of 0:00 GMT+0

    Feb 15, 2020 May 20, 2020 Aug 23, 2020 Nov 26, 2020 Mar 01, 2021 Jun 04, 2021 Sep 07, 2021 Dec 11, 2021 Mar 16, 2022 Jun 19, 2022 Sep 22, 2022 0 100k 25k 50k 75k Daily Cases

    3-day moving average

    7-day moving average

    See also: Daily Deaths Graph

    Active Cases in China, Hong Kong SAR

    Total Coronavirus Currently Infected

    Active Cases

    (Number of Infected People)

    Feb 15, 2020 May 07, 2020 Jul 28, 2020 Oct 18, 2020 Jan 08, 2021 Mar 31, 2021 Jun 21, 2021 Sep 11, 2021 Dec 02, 2021 Feb 22, 2022 May 15, 2022 Aug 05, 2022 Oct 26, 2022 0 250k 500k 750k 1 000k 1 250k Currently Infected

    Total Coronavirus Deaths in China, Hong Kong SAR

    linear logarithmic

    Total Coronavirus Deaths

    Total Deaths (Linear Scale) Feb 15, 2020 Apr 23, 2020 Jun 30, 2020 Sep 06, 2020 Nov 13, 2020 Jan 20, 2021 Mar 29, 2021 Jun 05, 2021 Aug 12, 2021 Oct 19, 2021 Dec 26, 2021 Mar 04, 2022 May 11, 2022 Jul 18, 2022 Sep 24, 2022 Dec 01, 2022 0 2.5k 5k 7.5k 10k 12.5k Deaths

    Daily New Deaths in China, Hong Kong SAR

    Novel Coronavirus Daily Deaths

    Daily Deaths

    Deaths per DayData as of 0:00 GMT+8

    Feb 15, 2020 May 17, 2020 Aug 17, 2020 Nov 17, 2020 Feb 17, 2021 May 20, 2021 Aug 20, 2021 Nov 20, 2021 Feb 20, 2022 May 23, 2022 Aug 23, 2022 Nov 23, 2022 0 100 200 300 400 Daily Deaths

    3-day moving average

    7-day moving average

    See also: Daily Cases Graph

    Latest News

    December 25 (GMT)

    Updates

    21,255 new cases and 50 new deaths in China, Hong Kong SAR [source]

    स्रोत : www.worldometers.info

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