All good things come to an end, but not this soon.
Hong Kong has seen a sudden and steady Covid-19 surge as of late. Two days ago, the city reported 52 cases of Coronavirus. Locally transmitted cases are surging, despite citizens complying with masks and social distancing. Over 250 new cases have been recorded in the last week, with nearly 75% being cases of community transmission.
Hong Kong is now imposing strict measures, most likely following the Asian approach of quickly enforcing measures whilst numbers are containable.
A ban on gatherings of more than 4 people has been re-imposed, having been eased last month to allow groups of up to 50.
The strict ban is also extending to restaurants, where restaurants are being ordered to close by 6pm, thereby cancelling dinner service. This is surely a blow for restaurant, having to lose the prime dinner seating slots just after re-opening again. Chief Executive Carrie Lam said restaurants will only offer take-out services starting 6pm until 5am.
Since July 6, authorities have recorded 253 new virus cases. Among them, 182 are local infections, with several cases linked to taxi drivers.
“As required by the government and health authorities in line with prevention efforts taking place across Hong Kong, Hong Kong Disneyland park will temporarily close from 15 July,” Disney said in a statement.
Hong Kong Disneyland was the second Disney park to reopen, following Shanghai Disneyland in May. Its Shanghai theme park remains open with numbers limited to less than half of its normal capacity.
Disney World in Florida remains open to the public, despite surging cases.
In non-Corona related news, President Trump has ended preferential economic treatment with Hong Kong.
“Hong Kong will now be treated the same as mainland China,” said the President. “No special privileges, no special economic treatment and no export of sensitive technologies.”
The President also signed a bipartisan legislation to impose sanctions on Chinese officials who crack down on rights in Hong Kong. China said it would take retaliatory action.
On that note, Phase 2 of the US-China trade deal is also put on hold, most likely for an extended period of time. It’s clear that the US President is leveraging his conflict with China to end special treatment for Hong Kong. Right now, the future is uncertain for the once autonomous city.
President Trump’s new legislation will also make it harder for Hong Kong citizens to get visas to the US, and will also mean US citizens will no longer get visa-free travel to Hong Kong.