Hong Kong’s international business group has begged the government to resume flights, as rating agencies have warned that a ban on overseas travel would discourage companies from using Hong Kong as their regional headquarters.
Executives returning home for Christmas are stuck outside an Asian financial hub after authorities have suspended flights from eight countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, to protect the city from Omicron variants.
David Graham, executive director of the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, said the “unfortunate” flight ban surprised many.
“It inevitably causes considerable confusion and inconvenience, especially for many Hong Kong-based executives and employees who traveled to the UK with their families during Christmas and wanted to return to Hong Kong in early January. Probably, “he said, the Financial Times.
“Given the extensive quarantine and inspection measures already in place for those returning from the UK, we strongly hope that the ban will be for a very limited period of time.”
Hong Kong, which is pursuing a “zero-covid” policy, has re-imposed many social distance regulations after the outbreak caused by Cathay Pacific crew members who were exempt from tourist quarantine orders.
Last Wednesday, flights from eight countries were banned for 14 days. Other airlines, such as Air Canada and Virgin Atlantic, have temporarily suspended their flights because they were unable to meet the quarantine requirements for the Hong Kong government’s crew.
The government said the city was facing the risk of an “outbreak” and needed to take stricter steps.
However, Fitch Ratings said new regulations could undermine Hong Kong’s economic growth outlook. “We believe that tightening restrictions on international arrivals will create additional obstacles to the ability of the region to function as the regional headquarters of foreign multinational corporations,” he said.
Hong Kong also recently introduced 7-day forced quarantine for pilots Crew operating cargo flights. The bill disrupted flight schedules by reducing Cathay Pacific’s cargo capacity to 20% of pre-pandemic levels and passenger capacity to 2%.
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Those who wish to enter Hong Kong from most countries have already been quarantined for three weeks in hotels and in some cases government quarantine facilities.
This restriction prevented the death and tension of the health system found elsewhere, but also separated the city from the rest of the world.
But at the same time, the city was unable to convince the very elderly to vaccinate, with more than 20% of people over the age of 80 being vaccinated.
International business groups have previously warned: Hong Kong endangered its crown As the region’s major financial center if it did not reopen the border.
“Flight restrictions add yet another level of stress, cost and uncertainty to executives living in Hong Kong,” said Tara, head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, which represents 1,400 companies in Chinese territory. Joseph says.
“Some people are stuck, others are afraid of the following. I don’t know when this will end.”
“We need to increase dialogue and transparency on travel, inspection and quarantine measures that affect Hong Kong as a place to live and do business,” said the US Consulate in Hong Kong.
Fitch warns that a travel ban threatens Hong Kong’s business status
Source link Fitch warns that a travel ban threatens Hong Kong’s business status
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