Everyone is waiting to know how much Chief Executive Carrie Lam intends to relax Hong Kong’s Covid restrictions on travel and social gathering. She announces the plans today – though they still won’t take effect for another four weeks.
Realistically, the best we can expect is a reduction in quarantine periods for inbound passengers as a sop to the increasingly angry international business community – and little more. The government seems systematically incapable of not dashing public hopes at every turn. And, after all, there are still some public spaces that haven’t been wrapped up in miles of barrier tape, and isolation camps to build. Better news would be other-worldly.
At best, it seems the government might abandon U-turns and flip-flopping, and instead embrace determined stopping-and-starting, moving slightly forward and then lurching into reverse. Maybe it will make the populace furious in a different way. Worth a try.
Carrie tells state media that Hong Kong’s experience fighting Covid is an example of the success of ‘One Country, Two Systems’. Who are we to disagree?