Over 10% Of EU Citizens Have Left Hong Kong
HONG KONG – Due to the stringent COVID-19 restrictions, more than 10 percent of citizens from the European Union (EU) have left the Chinese territory over the past 18 months, reported The Hong Kong Free Press on Friday afternoon (25 February, SGT).
This is based on data from the EU Office to Hong Kong and Macao, which stated that it is worried over Hong Kong’s flight bans, travel restrictions, and lengthy quarantine periods, which had prompted many EU citizens to leave.
The EU Office revealed that it had officially written to Hong Kong’s government leaders, expressing concerns over the travel curbs, and raised other issues such as school closures and the controversial separation of COVID-positive children from their families.
“We also ask for dialogue, not only regarding these concerns but also as an opportunity to share our experience and be of support to the Hong Kong population,” stated the EU Office in its letter.
Notably, Hong Kong has retained some of the world’s harshest travel restrictions against COVID-19. Inbound travelers are required to quarantine in a hotel for up to 14 days and face frequent testing.
On Tuesday, the city’s government announced that an existing ban on flights from 9 nations, including India, Australia, France, the US, and the United Kingdom will be extended until 20 April 2022.
Last Friday, Hong Kong recorded 21,979 confirmed and preliminary additional positive cases. To date, the city’s Department of Health has registered 106,205 coronavirus infections.
In the past several months, businesses have warned that Hong Kong’s stringent COVID-19 policies will negatively affect its status as a major global financial hub.
On Tuesday, global bank HSBC said the harsh curbs are impacting the Hong Kong economy” and “may affect the ability to attract and retain staff.” In fact, several multinational financial firms have shifted staff outside of the Chinese territory.