🌊All your foreign consulate floor plans are belong to us
Air crew don't have to quarantine abroad anymore
Walking to the bus stop from the office yesterday evening, I saw firsthand the new ‘auxiliary devices’ installed by the transport department to stop people looking at their phones when crossing the street.
According to a previous press release, this one was installed in July but I wasn’t around. And somehow I’ve never cross the street with the traffic light on since I’ve been back….
Anyway, it makes me feel very uncomfortable because bright red diluted light in Causeway Bay?….uh….
On Today’s Tide
Politics | Beijing demands all consulates to hand over floor plans
Aircrew: no more isolation abroad
Dr. Leung: drop LHS, drop amber code
Travel | Gov hands out free tix for tourists
Events | Seriously come to ReThink
Behind the paywall:
Politics | ‘Glory to Hong Kong’ Erhu player acquitted (again)
Crime | Professor loses $3.84mil over phone scams
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All your foreign base plans are belong to us
The Foreign Ministry has sent orders asking all foreign consulates in Hong Kong to hand over floor plans to authorities. Newly rented or built consulates must also allow authorities to conduct an inspection before staff enters, sparking fears that Chinese authorities could plant listening devices. Staff were also asked for details of residencies, lease and rental agreements for official premises and more.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Kurt Tong, former American CG to Hong Kong said that “Before the changes of 2019 and 2020, China’s foreign ministry usually took a minimalist approach […] because their goal was to have foreign missions that could operate easily in Hong Kong to help China do business with the world”.
“Now, the mindset seems to be that some foreign missions are not welcome”, Tong added.
Not sure what meme this title references? Here’s an explainer from when KYM was a good source for meme knowledge (which it only kind of still is…)
COVID in Hong Kong
COVID-19 in Hong Kong
New cases: 3286 (272 imported)
Total cases: 1,779,695
New deaths: 8
Total deaths: 10,184
Compulsory Testing locations: 63
Aircrew can go out (like everyone else)
From today, aircrew COVID regulations are coming more in line with everyone else’s: Aircrew no longer need to isolate in a close-looped system while abroad. However, they will be expected to avoid mask off activities and will be barred from going to crowded places, large events or bars/clubs (basically an amber code but abroad). Airlines will be expected to put in place rules to ensure regulations are followed.
When returning to Hong Kong, aircrew will still be subjected to test-and-hold, but will be allowed to return home. Test-and-hold will not be required if aircrew have not left China.
Cathay Pacific’s Chief Ops and Service Delivery Officer, Greg Hughes called the changes a “significant milestone” but that they still “fall short of complete removal of such restrictions […] which we still seek”
Get rid of COVID restrictions: Medical expert
Respitory expert Dr. Leung Chi-Cheung said yesterday that the government should drop all LHS tracing, amber codes, gathering rules and most mask wearing.
He argued that LHS doesn’t actually track movement anyway; for instance, it’s impossible to truly track people going into malls since they’ll walk around many different places - one positive case in a supermarket might not pass it to someone on another floor. And as far as the 4 person gathering rule goes, there are crowds in public transport.
While Dr. Leung was largely in favour of getting rid of mandatory mask wearing, he nonetheless said that we should keep it for indoor activities through winter.
500,000 free tickets to Hong Kong
In 2020, the government purchased 500,000 tickets from several local airlines in a time capsule style bid to lure tourists back.
According to anonymous sources speaking with Sing Tao, CE John Lee is likely to announce even more relaxation of COVID measures in his first policy address on 19 Oct. Giving out tickets for free to Hong Kong is likely to be one way the government attempts to revive tourism in Hong Kong.
Nonetheless, it is estimated that it will take 1-2Q before Hong Kong tourism returns to something resembling pre-2019.
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