Although countries around the world are starting to relax their travel measures, TVB shows might be the closest we get to visiting Hong Kong for the time being.
The European Chamber of Commerce recently announced in a draft report that Hong Kong may only reopen her borders in early 2024.
Hong Kong’s Borders to Remain Closed Until Mainland China’s Fully Vaccinated
Due to Hong Kong’s strict COVID-19 rules and Mainland China’s limited effectiveness when it comes to vaccines, Hong Kong may keep its borders closed until Mainland China effectively vaccinates its entire population of 1.4 billion.
The vaccinations may only conclude in late 2023 or early 2024.
The Financial Impact of Keeping Borders Closed
Although Hong Kong has kept her people safe, it is evident that keeping her borders closed for a prolonged period of time is not doing her economy any good.
As mentioned by Reuters, “While Hong Kong succeeded in keeping the virus under control for much of 2021, it has become one of the world’s most isolated places because of its travel restrictions and intermittent lockdowns that have accelerated a brain drain from the former British colony.”
Indeed, due to Hong Kong’s role as a financial hub in the region, companies might end up leaving and redirecting their investments to other financial hubs in Asia such as Singapore or Korea instead.
“We anticipate an exodus of foreigners, probably the largest than Hong Kong has ever seen, and one of the largest in absolute terms from any city in the region in recent history,” the draft report mentioned.
With that, other aspects of the country such as maintaining world-class instiutions and universities may be things that Hong Kong will struggle with in the future as well.
COVID-19 Situation in Hong Kong
COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in Hong Kong this month, and authorities are struggling to control the virus. There were 107 new cases reported on Wednesday (26 January), the fourth consecutive day of three-digit cases.
With most of Hong Kong’s elderly unvaccinated, an uncontrolled outbreak could kill up to 20,000 elderly, regardless of any additional measures.
For comparison, only 70% of Hong Kong citizens have been double vaccinated while in Singapore, over 82% of the public has received at least two doses of the vaccine.
Although the draft report has not been made public yet, it’s pretty safe to say that it’s much better for us to stick to watching TVB instead of planning trips to Hong Kong for the time being.
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