🌊 Is Zero-COVID sustainable?
In other news, Amnesty International is set to close its Hong Kong offices over NSL
Hey everyone! It’s been a busy few days for me, but I’m back with another Tuesday morning HT. Enjoy!
~ Sze Yu
Industry groups criticize Hong Kong’s Zero-COVID strategy
Global banks and industry groups have criticized Hong Kong’s strict Zero-COVID strategy for damaging the city’s business reputation. A quarantine waiver program that kicked off five months ago has only approved 86 applications out of 385 received.
Recent surveys have shown that almost half of major international banks and asset managers are considering moving staff out of the city as they struggle to retain employees or attract fresh talent. The Asia Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (ASIFMA) warned Hong Kong was being left behind while rival financial centres such as London, New York, Paris, Singapore and Tokyo were learning to live with the coronavirus.
Hong Kong is one of the few remaining cities that has continued to pursue a COVID-elimination strategy. New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan have all either pivoted towards a ‘live with COVID‘ approach, or have set vaccination targets for opening borders. Since shifting towards a vaccination-focused strategy early this month, New Zealand has vaccinated almost 25% of its population in just three weeks.
Coronavirus in Hong Kong
New cases: 4 (imported)
Amnesty International to close Hong Kong offices over NSL concerns
Human Rights NGO is set to leave Hong Kong, citing the NSL, which has made its human rights work “effectively impossible“. Amnesty International has maintained a presence in Hong Kong for over forty years.
“This decision, made with a heavy heart, has been driven by Hong Kong’s national security law, which has made it effectively impossible for human rights organisations in Hong Kong to work freely and without fear of serious reprisals from the government,”
— Anjhula Mya Singh Bais, chair of Amnesty’s international board.
Operations carried out by Amnesty International’s regional headquarters, currently located in Hong Kong, will be taken over by other offices in Asia-Pacific, with Taiwan, Seoul and Tokyo among the locations being discussed.
Events & Exhibitions
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We’ll throw in a free month of Paid High Tide for yourself or a friend!
Wine and Dine Festival
The Hong Kong tourism board has announced that the Wine and Dine Festival will return with a “City Wine Walk” offer and last throughout next month. Participants can buy a tasting pass which will allow them to try wines and special menus at restaurants and bars in Kennedy Town, Central, Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui.
For more information visit the Hong Kong tourism board’s website!
Hong Kong Through Australian Eyes
Ever wondered what the Aussies think of us? (of you’re an Aussie, every wondered what you…think of…me?) The Fringe Club, in association with the Australian Consulate-General of Australia is hosting a photographic exhibition featuring the work of four Australian photographers living and working locally.
Admission is free
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